Apink – “Luv” Review

Apink – Luv (Live Performance)

Apink – Luv (Dance Practice)

Apink – Luv

Reviewed on January 17, 2014

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Personal Message: It has been, if I am being precise, about two weeks since I last reviewed a song. Therefore, if this review falters slightly, apologies, but I will do my best to prevent it from becoming horrendous (although it may be mediocre at best). Additionally, as of the time I am writing this, I am ill, but hopefully I recover quickly. On topic and ignoring excuses, I am somewhat excited for this review. Apink’s “Luv” has been on my list for a while, and I have never reviewed a song by them nor gave my opinion regarding their talent and such. However, as stated, I am only somewhat excited; arguably, my physical being may become jeopardized based on my words describing and rating Apink. Whether it is in the form of sending songs or preaching her love for Chorong, a friend has been advertising this group for quite a while. If my admiration and love towards T-ARA’s Soyeon (one of my role models) was ever considered obsessive, I am deprived of words to describe my friend’s love for Chorong. Of course, though, I cannot complain nor should any form of mockery take place; Chorong is the person she admires and looks up to, and, assuming certain comical incidents are excluded, that is perfectly acceptable as Chorong is an incredible, phenomenal lady.

On the subject of Chorong and Apink, I am still attempting to connect her as Apink’s leader. Before my lifespan is shortened misunderstandings occur, I am referring to Apink’s attendance at the variety show “Weekly Idol.” Their “Luv” episode proved to be one of the most jocular visits I have ever watched, and specifically, Chorong’s moments nearly induced tears from sheer laughter. Anyhow, since my mind’s concept of a leader is distorted, I struggle to associate Chorong with that position. With that role, I would expect the person to remain calm, serious, and authoritative regardless of a situation, and even if she were to be subjected to, for example, a shocking lie detector toy (a current trending Korean pop culture game; would be interesting to analyze how it became to be), she would hold her image and not dissipate into a fire alarm. Jokes aside, from peering at other videos, Chorong utterly deserves that position and takes great care of her members. This also reminds me of another comical scene on “Weekly Idol,” although more accurately described, it was a cute one. In summary, due to a game, Chorong had to kiss her members, and while Apink is definitely close with one another, expressing their love via kisses instead of their usual hugs proved to be humorous. With a kiss on the cheek to every member, squeals, slight embarrassment, and sweetness became scattered. Truthfully, however, even I contributed to the squeals.

Now, while the scene itself was adorable, after the game/kissing, one of the hosts left a questionable statement; in summary, he mentioned how he was surprised to find female groups were awkward with the game. According to him, male groups were not burdened at all and were rather playful with the activity, and thus, Apink’s erupted embarrassment comes as surprising (and note, I am not trying to insult the host, but rather, challenge and question his statement; he is by far one the better hosts I have seen). Firstly, this leaves an implication of how Doni, the host, expected female groups to be affectionate on the sole basis of their gender. His comparison unveils that belief: if male groups are capable of not being awkward, then female groups should automatically have no embarrassment with kissing. Obviously, this is utterly false and prompts a multitude of discussion points. To address one component, people have been socialized with categorizing certain traits on the basis of gender. Specifically here, Doni associated Apink with caring, affectionate and loving attributes since they are a female group. However, this association should be challenged. Society has, with the mindset of male or female, taught and crafted expectations on what a person’s behavior, interests, and more, should be. Blatantly, though, reproductive organs do not determine those traits, but instead, the person themselves.    

Overall, what would have been more desirable to hear would be the lack of gender labels during the comparison. If Doni had said it was interesting to witness Apink feeling embarrassed (this is another potential discussion point) since every other group that conducted the game was calm, it would have been less controversial. Anyhow, as stated, I am only challenging this statement and not Doni himself. It is absolutely vital to critique the world around us. And actually, to elaborate slightly on the highlighted discussion point, I am hoping Apink feels embarrassed due to a more intimate gesture versus the idea of kissing a person of the same gender. Socialization returns here; society has created a standard in which people of the same gender cannot be affectionate (and once again, another discussion point; someone may ask, “But why are females able to be more affectionate with each other than males?” I will answer this later) or else they risk feeling awkward, and diving deeper on why that feeling exists, it can be linked to homophobia. It is rather interesting that even with sexual orientation, different ideas have been taught on how certain sexual orientations exhibit different behavior. For example, we are socialized with the idea that homosexual males and females are inverses of the socialized gender norms; homosexual males are seen as “females” and vice-versa for homosexual females. Being critical, however, it is obvious that a person’s sexual orientation, like gender, does not determine characteristics. Truly, sexual orientation is simply who a person finds attractive, nothing more, nothing less. I am also reminded of another point to discuss: the different diction utilized to label sexual orientations. Personally, I am privileged with the ability to simply say, “I am straight” (and I have a whole mile-length of other privileges due to being a heterosexual). However, strangely, the equivalent for homosexuals follows as solely “gay” or “lesbian,” and while those words are not “curved/zig-zagged/parabola,” it is essentially implied as if that since “straight” is the label for heterosexuals. Perhaps I am being overly critical and nitpicky, but if the terms of “gay” and “lesbian” are to be kept, then at least the term “straight” should be reconstructed as something else in order to prevent the contrast of how “straight” implies “gay/lesbian” is “curved.” Since finding a substituting word for “straight” may be too difficult, at least coining “heterosexual” will work and will not provide a subtle layer of superiority.

Hopefully people follow through my explanation, and hopefully people are willing to take a moment to critically analyze society. And, as the last point to cover (if you have managed to stay and not avoid this topic, kudos to you), I will explain why males are not able to be as affectionate with other males as females are with their own gender. Firstly, an incorrect answer would be: “Females are privileged over males, therefore they can hold hands with other females.” Without diving into a whole other discussion, males, at least in androcentric societies, will always remain privileged (and hopefully “will” will be removed in the future), and thus, that answer is wrong. Correctly, the fact that females are underprivileged is why males cannot replicate the same affection towards other males. For a simpler example, let us use cosmetics. If I decide to utilize BB cream, foundation, concealer, or more explicitly noticeable, eyeliner and some eyeshadow, I would face a torrent of insults and comments; my sexual orientation would be questioned, I would be degraded, and interestingly, I would be called a “female” or “girl” as an insult. Now, the latter comment unveils the answer: males cannot do anything socialized with females since, in the androcentric social structure scale, it is a derank of status. This also explains why females can dress up as males and have that be accepted since, for the lady, she is “ranking up” by doing so. On the other hand, should I, for example, “wear a miniskirt” with “risky high heels” (apologies, I just had to reference AOA, an incredible group of ladies), then I am “deranking” in status since females in societies that are male-centered are, obviously, less valued. Although I focused on appearance, gestures and actions follow the same pattern. If I kiss a male, I am “deranking” by performing an act in which, through socialization, only females are “supposed” to do, and thus, that is why it is socially unaccepted for males to do such.

Anyhow, I have said way too much. If this was too lengthy, blame my favorite class for bringing in critical awareness and thinking. Point is, question society and challenge unfair ideas. No one, on the foundation of who they are, should ever be shunned and degraded.

Progressing to the actual review, and I am very sorry for the huge digression (and of course, feel free to agree or disagree with my perspective), I will review this song with my genuine opinion. I feel slightly regretful for potentially leaving a sour start, but to quickly address the links, the first link is a standard live performance. For the second link, however, it is their official dance practice. Unfortunately, the audio playback is based on the visual camera, and as a result, not too clear. But, of course, being a dance practice video, it offers the clearest form of the visual component to “Luv.” Also, interestingly, according to the beginning of the video, the dance practice only became released since their standard music video (I have yet to watch it) acquired a certain number of views. A clever win-win situation as both Apink and fans gain from the deal.  

Focusing on Apink, the group that should have been the main focus from the start (although it is good to remain critical), their most recent comeback is, if not blatant enough, the song “Luv.” The members of Chorong, Bomi, Eunji, Naeun, Namjoo, and Hayoung will be attempting to garner the “Luv” of ladies and men. With previous releases of “NoNoNo” and “Mr. Chu,” solid standards have been set, but hopefully through “Luv” (no pun intended), their trend will manage to sustain.

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Song Total Score: 7/10 (7/10 raw score) – Average score of the sub-categories

– Vocals: 6/10 – Admittedly, I feel somewhat rusty with reviewing, but a dose of excitement does exist considering how long it has been. On topic, the vocals in “Luv” do possess qualities of being melodic, powerful, and varying. However, unfortunately, while the vocals are scattered with meeting different aspects, nothing is compelling; the melody is sustained but not utterly captivating, powerful vocals may be promising and lingering, but it remains moreover secluded, and the different notes utilized fail to be mesmerizing. Apink certainly possesses solid singing skills, but in this song, the execution of the singing is weaker. If the vocals were accompanied by differentiable, unique aspects, a higher score would easily be earned. More vocal variety per song structure would have been desirable; the verses’ vocals should have had their own traits in juxtaposition to, for example, the pre-choruses. Yet, in “Luv,” they remain too identical, and thus, create staleness for the vocal department.

Slightly above average holds as the score. A lack of diversity would be the crippling factor to the vocals in “Luv.” For the most part, solely the chorus is differentiable from the other main sections. Apink definitely have the skills as vocalists, but in the case of “Luv,” their talent was limited.

– Song Structure: 7/10 (6.67/10 raw score)

The song goes in this structure and order:

Introduction, Chorus, Verse, Pre-Chorus, Chorus, Verse, Pre-Chorus, Chorus, Bridge, Conclusion (Chorus)

1. Introduction: 6/10 – The introduction is purely the instrumental.

Mechanically, the introduction is decent. The main instrument in the form of a piano controls the flow; a softer, slower pace is established. This allows a proper setup of the song’s tone and gentler side. Now, while those mechanical pieces were solid, the transition is somewhat undesirable. Quick beats consume the piano and instantly swap the song to the chorus. Unfortunately, a lot of the peaceful, slower setup becomes utterly obsolete; the transition disregards the initial moments. Due to the two conflicting styles, this introduction holds as somewhat incohesive. If the piano tune at the start was slightly more energetic, or if the beats were softer and more in touch with the established trend, a smoother start would have been granted.

Slightly above average will be the score. Individually, the piano and transitional beats were solid, but meshing the two provides harsh contrast.

2. Chorus: 7/10 – Some readers may notice the chorus promptly begins after the introduction. While this style is not utterly unusual, it is less common, but considering Apink’s style, for fans of the group, this is to be predicted. Eunji, Bomi, and Naeun handle all of the choruses (excluding the conclusion version).

A prominent presence exists due to added energy and strength, and additionally, properly scaled power is a highlight to the choruses; the vocals are perfectly measured in that they are not overwhelming to the song’s overall atmosphere, but likewise, not lacking and failing to maintain a choruses’ standard intensity. In terms of the lines, some lyrical structure is promising; “L.O.V.E, love” creates a catchy, repetitive phrase that lingers around. Additionally, the letters and word become landmarks for where stronger vocals occur. With that, a natural flow exists, and thus, it augments the overall fluency. On the subject of flow, the final line took a retracting step in the aspect of intensity; Naeun, the member in charge of the last line, sings in a stable yet gentler voice than the previous members. Transition becomes aided due to this. Overall, an exceptional flow and proper dose of vocal power are the main assets to the choruses.

Above average will be the rating.

3. Verse: 6/10 – Namjoo and Chorong handle the first verse, and the returning member of Chorong is paired with Hayoung for the second verse.

In light of the vocals, Namjoo and Chorong follow a lower pitch, softer and slower flow. Their singing aims towards constructing the song and remain soothing. For what holds the verses back, although biasedly I adore slower verses, the structure itself falters; the vocals are solid, but dullness becomes a rife issue. Firstly, the background vocals of “My love” were not effective at creating breaks and variety. By being very light, they held little weight, and furthermore, due to the rate at which they were heard/sung, their little presence and purpose are further whittled down. At the very least, the middle break of “L.O.V.E, love” provides a natural change of singers and structure to the verse. But, overall, one break in the middle does not compensate for the overarching stagnant flow of the verses. Vocally, the verses are solid as Namjoo and Chorong (and Hayoung if accounting the second verse) showcase excellent lower ranged notes in addition to a graceful, slow pace. The structure, in opposite, holds as exceptionally stale. Furthermore, the attempts to prevent such failed; the breaks of “L.O.V.E, love” were unsuccessful, and as a result, a higher score is lost.

Slightly above average will be the score.

4. Pre-Chorus: 6/10 – Hayoung and Namjoo handle the first pre-chorus. Naeun and, again, Namjoo, tackle the second pre-chorus.

Fulfilling the standard role of prepping and hyping the chorus, both the vocals and instrumental notch up the energy by becoming more prominent and energetic, and also, slightly increasing the pacing. While the singing is solid, as seen by the ladies’ partially stretched lines, once again, the structure holds as weaker. Vocal-wise, the melody proved to be diverse, and even power was added. However, the first three lines were practically identical, and furthermore, all three were stretched at the end. Initially, this may seem to be a solid idea; line endings being stretched creates the beloved diverse melodic tunes. In this case, if it were one or even two lines following that format, it would be perfect, but with a larger duration and quantity, that style becomes hindering. A sluggish, lagging flow is the outcome of three lines following the line stretching format. The melody may be augmented, but the flow becomes heavily clogged. On the positive side, the final line by Namjoo provides an exceptionally welcomed contrast as well as a smooth transition. Should there have been a different format for the earlier lines, the pre-choruses would potentially glean a higher score.

Overall, slightly above average will be the score.  

5. Bridge: 7/10 – Both Chorong and Hayoung simultaneously sing, but eventually, Eunji concludes the bridge.

Recalling the verses where background vocals failed, the bridge redeems that aspect. With background vocals of “Neon mal (means ‘Do you…’),” the contrast funnels attention towards  Chorong and Hayoung’s words in addition to adding diversity. In terms of the couple’s words/lines, the style followed an exceptionally soft and fragile stance. The purpose of such, in perspective to the bridge, is for buildup to occur. When Eunji arrives, her lines offer incredible strength and a delightful tune. As anticipated, a note hold is executed by her in order to mark a climactic point in “Luv.” Thankfully, despite the impactful note hold, it suited the song overall; it was neither too lengthy nor overly done, and thus, followed “Luv” ‘s general softer atmosphere.

Overall, with multiple layers to the bridge such as the background vocals, paired singing, or a satisfying note hold, above average will be the score.

6. Conclusion (Chorus): 8/10 – “Luv” concludes by recycling its chorus. Chorong, Bomi, and Naeun are responsible for it.

Considering the previous section was the bridge, remnants of Eunji’s note hold are left. With that, the chorus as a final section excels as it provides a middle ground; the bridge’s intensity is not utterly lost, but homogeneously, the song is not excessively energetic near the end. Additionally, with the choruses’ ending line, a proper, concluding closure becomes ensured since Naeun’s line provides a proper transition through gently ending.

A very natural and cohesive conclusion is met in credit to the final chorus. Since everything fell in place accordingly, a solid score will be granted.

– Line Distribution: 9/10 – With 6 members, a high Line Distribution score should be earned. Furthermore, since every member has proven her ability with singing, there should be a relatively equal share.

Apink’s leader, Chorong, was responsible for the first and second verses, the bridge, and lastly, the final chorus. While this seems sufficient, recalling previous reviews such as AOA’s “Like a Cat,” this may be slightly excessive. Depending on the rest of the group’s share, Chorong’s lines are either too abundant or adequate.

Bomi’s share involved all of the choruses. Due to this, her spotlight is spread all over, and with a significant song section and lengthier duration, there are no issues whatsoever. While the risk of slightly dominating is possible, it depends on the rest of Apink. Sufficient although potentially excessive is her stance.

For Eunji, her spotlight consists of the first three choruses and the bridge. So far, every member has four lines, and if this trend continues, then certainly her lines are perfectly measured and not excessive. Like the initial two, Eunji receives an ample amount of lines, but hopefully, it does not lean towards being dominating.

In terms of Naeun, all of the choruses and even one verse are her parts. Surprisingly, the trend still holds true, and if that is the case, her share is perfect assuming no one else lacks lines. Although she has one extra line (5 instead of 4 like the rest), due to them being shorter, her overall time span remains identical with the previously gauged members.

Namjoo was in charge of the first verse and two pre-choruses. Amazingly, the line share is still equal to the other members. Her moments were lengthy, and even if she holds only three song sections, the time overall remains identical to the rest.

With Hayoung remaining as the last member to gauge, there is a significant amount of pressure. Her singing time appears at the first pre-chorus, second verse, and the duo bridge moment. Even with having solely three sections, her time, as anticipated, remains equal to the rest of Apink. No issues exist.

To be true to the score, the Line Distribution will be rated at a 9. If every member had exactly 4 sections/lines or at least nearly that, then a 10 would be earned. Some members had 5 or 3, and thus, it cannot be rated at a 10 since it is not utterly flawless. Nevertheless, this is exceptionally impressive for a distribution. In truth, I anticipated the first three members to have excessive time, but that prediction has been proven wrong. Overall, while not completely perfect, their share in “Luv” remains astounding.

– Instrumental: 6/10 – To address the strong components of the instrumental, the gentle mood of the song can be credited to it; slower moments of the song utilized a serene piano melody to deliver that state. Also, despite aiding the softer atmosphere, it still manages to add energetic components in the form of its catchier beats, or when the intensity elevates, a quicker pace accompanied by a flute sound. For what is weaker, the instrumental may have provided Apink’s vocals a stable support, but for the soundtrack individually, it falters; stripping away the singing leaves a plain and lacking instrumental. Nothing holds as prominent and unique without Apink’s voice. At most, the verses instrumentally remain solid due to a main piano, but for other sections, additional instruments and sounds do not hold properly without the vocals.

Slightly above average will hold as the score. The instrumental provides for Apink, but without the ladies complementing it, the soundtrack downgrades.  

– Meaning: 7/10 – With a song title of “Luv,” listeners would expect a loving, flirtatious story. Accounting for the vocals’ style as well, that prediction becomes additionally supported. Through these translated Korean-to-English lyrics, that prediction can be checked as for whether it holds as accurate. As always, these lyrics are not 100% accurate with translation, but the general idea should hold:

Do you remember the time we spent together? L.O.V.E, love
Are you excited? Once it was everything L.O.V.E, love
The time we had comes to my mind sometimes L.O.V.E, love
Can we turn back the time?
I can’t believe our long past story

(My love) On a day I’m particularly tired
(MY love) There is no one by my side (L.O.V.E, love)
I want to cry
on someone’s shoulder, yeah

The time when we were not afraid of anything
Holding hands, yeah
The days when I needed nothing
if you were standing next to me

Do you remember the time we spent together? L.O.V.E, love
Are you excited? Once it was everything L.O.V.E, love
The time we had comes to my mind sometimes L.O.V.E, love
Can we turn back the time?
I can’t believe our long past story

(MY love) With many people I run into
(MY love) I will gradually forget about you (L.O.V.E, love)
But sometimes I smile
at the thought of that time, yeah

The time when anything made us happy
Looking at each other, yeah
You were my strength
when you trusted me

Do you remember the time we spent together? L.O.V.E, love
Are you excited? Once it was everything L.O.V.E, love
The time we had comes to my mind sometimes L.O.V.E, love
Can we turn back the time?
I can’t believe our long past story

(Do you) miss me?
(Do you) miss me?
(I) miss you
You are somewhere in my memory like that

Do you remember the time we spent together? L.O.V.E, love
Are you excited? Once it was everything L.O.V.E, love
The time we had comes to my mind sometimes L.O.V.E, love
Can we turn back the time?
I can’t believe our long past story

Contrary to the title, the lyrics do not depict a cheerful story that involves love, but rather, the absence of it. “Luv” showcases a character, either a man or lady, who, due to some unknown circumstance, unfortunately lost their love-interest/partner. The lover reminisces over past days and loving moments with her/his former love-interest, such as when they were not “afraid of anything” and were “holding hands.” Additional details also describe the couple’s previous affection and care for each other. In addition to reflecting over their history, the main character also attempts to forget it, but alas, the lover still misses their partner. Multiple questions exist: Why did the couple separate? Was the split due to their own decision or outside influences?

Overall, the lyrics hold as above average. While the details were not too compelling, the general crafted story remains intriguing. Many questions exist, and further, the irony of the title symbolizes the main character’s conflicting feelings; love is seemingly present (like the title), but the reality showcases that is not necessarily the case (the lyrics themselves).      

From the surface and minimal analysis, nothing sparks a critical discussion; however, for a substitution of the “Critical Corner,” I will offer my take on why the song title is “Luv” and not, for example, “Love.” I have two current positions: for one, it is due to pure stylizing, and for the second take, pronunciation. Elaborating on the latter, although I am not confident with this explanation at all, “Luv,” in Korean, would definitely provide the English equivalent sound of “Love.” Now, if the opposite occurred with “Love” being the title, in Korean, the sound in English equivalent would potentially sound moreover as “L-ooo-ve” (instead of an “uh” sound). Again, I cannot claim this is positively certain, but that might be the case.

For a digression on the subject of love, I find it interesting to observe how love is pressured. In many cultures, be it American or South Korean society(and of course many other ones), people are ushered and rushed into dating and marriage. This is concerning, however, as love cannot be necessarily rushed. While effort definitely needs to exist to begin love, the feeling and relationship needs time to develop. Occasionally, the idea of love is moreover promoted and fantasized versus the concept itself; people feel the need to date/marry in order to feel “whole” or joyful, but in reality, it is not the binding label that creates the feeling, but instead, the person themselves. To clarify that point, it is not the title of, say, “boyfriend” and “girlfriend” that creates joy, it is the fact that the partner is someone who brings in happiness and support. Often time, many people forget that aspect and focus moreover on the sheer labels as the origin of feelings.

One additional point to discuss could also be the pressure to obtain love due to gender. Females, for example, are typically taught they need a male in order to be wholesome. However, that should never the case as not only does it rush love, and thus, creates artificial feelings that backfire, but the idea in itself of females needing a male on the sole basis of gender is ridiculous. Love is not a requirement. Love is an emotion. Anyone, regardless of who they are, should be free to find their own love. In the end, that sole emotion along with dedication and support is what matters, not gender nor even the gender of who a person loves.

To share a personal story regarding pressure to date, although specifically it is moreover marriage, despite being a male, I have received my dose of it. I am reminded at times, and expected, to eventually marry. The reason, however, is that without a wife, I would be unable to take care of myself (similar to what females are told). Of course, it is exceptionally silly, and nevertheless, I still adamantly believe that love will come with time. In fact, I have never dated, and do not intend to until around 25 (unless if I somehow end up with an amazing lady sooner than that). Anyhow, while I hope to be in an incredibly happy, close, and supportive relationship one day, like T-ARA’s Soyeon current relationship, dating and marriage should never be pressured onto people on the foundation of anything else besides love and dedication. And for how this all relates to Apink’s “Luv,” it matches the title at least.

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Choreography Score: 7/10 – Glancing past my digressions (I will blame excessive sugar), let us return to the phenomenal ladies of Apink. From every song I have ever reviewed, “Luv” proves to be the most difficult to grade in terms of the choreography. Deciding between “above average” and “good/solid” is nearly impossible. A 7 will most likely be the score, however. Diving into why that is the case, firstly, the syncing in “Luv” is exceptional; every movement related to a beat, the melody, or even a combination of the two. Focusing on the aspect of transitions, although I seldom include it as a main point, for this song, they held as phenomenal. Switching the spotlight between members was very smooth and fluent, and thus, more time is spent being on sync versus getting into positions. On the subject of positions and formations, the key points of the dance is what deters the Choreography Score from hitting an 8. While every maneuver is on point and transitions are flawless, the key points themselves could be more interesting. For example, the choruses’ key point utilizes the same dance set of moving hips left and right to match the beats, and although the syncing is stunning, visually, it becomes stale. Furthermore, with the chorus occurring multiple times, the key point becomes even more lacking.

Overall, above average will hold as the score. While the choreography as a whole follows simplicity and remains utterly captivating due to the highly accurate syncing, the key points could have been slightly catchier and more varied at certain moments.  

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Overall Score: 7/10 (7/10 raw score) – With both categories scoring a 7, the Overall Score will follow suit. Apink’s “Luv” concludes with a 7/10 which represents “above average,” and I can agree to that, although I personally find the song moreover a 6/10. The vocal skills exist, but the delivery of such is on the weaker spectrum. Additionally, the song sections and instrumental were not too infatuating. Nevertheless, “Luv” is a respectable song and remains decent.

It has been a while since I reviewed a song, so forgive me for lackluster writing. Also, apologies if my tangents were too rife (but those are topics people should not shy away from). As I always say, thank you very much for reading this. It truly means a lot to me that you would take time away from other activities just to read my blog and reviews. Thank you very much. Reviews have been coming by slowly, but I am working hard to change that (I am currently busy with a lot of work). To compensate, I have a special bonus review in mind that I am hoping many readers will love. Depending on my speed and dedication, it should be out in one or two days.

Future reviews will consist of, as stated, a secret upcoming bonus one, but ignoring the special review, I have a ballad in mind along with an underrated/unpopular group. And once those 3 reviews are cleared, many male artists have released songs that I plan to review. This current review took 3 days of writing to finish, so I will attempt to be hastier.

Anyhow, thank you once again for reading. Stay tuned for a bonus treat that should be out extremely soon. Hopefully my rate will improve, and peering at everything, “I can’t believe our long past story” together with reviews. Let us continue this “story”; stay tuned and keep checking back for more content.  

AOA – “Miniskirt” Review

AOA – Miniskirt (Dance Practice)

AOA (Ace of Angels) – Miniskirt

Reviewed on December 23, 2014

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Personal Message: So it turns out, multi-tasking reviews is one of the worst things I have ever done in terms of writing-related activities. I have three other reviews being worked on, but since I am feeling rather overwhelmed, I decided to take things slowly and one at a time. I will finish a requested review as soon as possible, but I do deeply apologize for a huge delay. Anyhow, it is time I attempt a “speed review”; these reviews are aimed towards being more concise, but hopefully, still sufficiently detailed. My plan is to shorten the Song Structure section. After pondering about how to potentially speed up reviews, that section could be vastly optimized. Nevertheless, I am not too sure if it can be condensed into a shorter piece, and thus, this review was born to be used as an experiment. If things go correctly, I will dive straight into explaining the different sections versus attempting to lay out the key descriptions of every song section. I personally find that it will be an issue, but on the bright side, a lot of time could be saved, and readers will be spared from me atrociously describing different song parts.

Considering I am going to potentially butcher not bring justice to a song, using a group that I have reviewed beforehand will, at the very least, ensure that their name is not utterly tarnished by my mediocre writing. AOA will be my unlucky lucky test trial. Many readers will recognize this group, whether it be due to a previous review on them or, the more realistic reason, that they are a largely soaring group.

On the subject of AOA, although to this day “Like a Cat,” their most recent song, remains on my personal playlist, that is not the main reason on why I have been very fond of these ladies lately. Now that I think of it, perhaps my lousier review rate is due to allocating my writing session with AOA video sessions. Ignoring my excuse, I genuinely admire these incredible ladies. While they have proven to be exceptionally jocular and talented, a specific show made me respect how hard working they are, and how much they did, or more accurately, do, to overcome struggles. Although embarrassingly I forgot the title of the show (it begins with a “C”; might be Korean, though), it was one that did showcase some partial aspects of AOA’s idol life. The ladies were shown to be tediously practicing, and very rarely, if not never, did they have time to simply relax. Furthermore, their CEO or director (I think it was the director) was exceptionally strict with the members; she did not hesitate to hold her tongue when it came to criticizing the ladies of AOA.

There was an incident where Seolhyun was snacking on some chips, and as some may know, an idol’s diet is scrutinized very seriously. Kim Youngsun (to prevent confusion for those unfamiliar, I am typing this in Korean format; Kim is her last name), the director of FNC Entertainment (AOA’s label company) who is rather intimidating, was upset and chastised the member. She even went further and talked about how Seolhyun needed to watch her weight. On a small tangent, it is irritating to see that weight is a huge role for being attractive in certain societies. Whether it is Seolhyun’s case or anyone else, no one should be criticized on a pathetic, unworthy numerical value. Unless if the day arrives where weight will instantly determine your intelligence and such, it holds as meaningless other than a physical description/statistic.   

Since I am on a tangent, I will continue with one more interesting point seen from the show (and as always, for those who hate my blabbering and want my opinion on the song, feel free to skip to below). I did not notice it instantly, but after about 6 minutes into the show, a keen detail struck out: the staff members responsible for AOA are mainly females. Now there will be one person that goes, “So what? Stop being biased since they all happen to be females,” and that is a perfectly reasonable sight; however, welcome to male privilege taking a wider glance at the K-Pop industry, I will argue, despite how many incredible ladies there are whether it be the idols themselves or staff members, the K-Pop industry does sway in the favor of males. From other shows and behind-the-scene footages, often time the staff members are predominantly male. Additionally, the directors are typically males as well. And of course, another “So what?” may be asked, but in my opinion, what this does unveil is who runs the show; if general staff members and directors and CEOs are all male, that potentially influences the songs sung, the dances crafted, and more. I might be overly critical right now, but it is something to consider.

Anyhow, back on track, AOA is seemingly ran by mainly female staff members, which is a nice change, and considering Youngsun holds the director position, that is also great. And to finally properly answer the question of why having females work behind-the-scenes in the K-Pop industry matters, AOA solely exists due to Youngsun; FNC Entertainment homes a lot of male artists, but until Youngsun voiced her opinion, only then did the company decide to create a female group. While AOA’s director is very harsh and scary to the ladies, she does care a lot towards the members. In fact, it was touching to see that Youngsun did accept the group’s request to hug her (on the other side, it is very humorous to see the members stutter and hesitate when speaking to her) and that, according to rumors among the members/staff, she cried when “Miniskirt” won first place on music shows.

In summary, and apologies for such a random, excessive story, I personally appreciate that FNC Entertainment hears out Youngsun’s opinion and respects her rightfully deserved position, and that she is able to have influence and control of AOA. After all, if K-Pop is truly universal, everyone’s thoughts need to be heard, regardless of gender. This also prompts another idea in my head (and at this point you may be thinking “goodness-forbid”). I could elaborate on the idea of how female groups tend to be heavily criticized versus male groups, but I will probably save this discussion for another time. Sadly, this type of criticizing of females is not restricted to K-Pop groups; in some societies, ladies have the obstacle of being exceptionally scrutinized and analyzed for everything (especially those with higher authority positions).

Ironically, despite being a “speed review,” I have increased the duration. Perhaps I should do a standard review with how lengthy this review has already become. I will still try the concise Song Structure idea, and depending on whether my writing languishes even more, I can gauge if “speed reviews” are worth it or not.

With that said and with hopefully some interesting background added, we will finally start the review. Besides “Like a Cat,” this song, “Miniskirt,” has been one I have enjoyed. This song did net them their first first place win, and justly so. For the most part. As expected, the ladies of AOA are tackling their standard mature concept, and knowing that these ladies are definitely sexy due to their hard work, intelligence, positive attitudes, and more, it is fitting. Let’s see why their older song of “Miniskirt” earned them a first place win (or, potentially, why that should not be the case).

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Song Total Score: 7/10 (7/10 raw score) – Average score of the sub-categories

– Vocals: 7/10 – Recalling my previous review on this group’s latest song, “Like a Cat,” I actually ponder over whether my score there was correct. Perhaps an 8 would have been more appropriate for that song. Digression aside, for “Miniskirt,” I am confident with a 7, above average. For this song, the ladies are putting forth decent vocals. There is a diverse range of notes, the melody proves to be catchy and smooth, and a special component about this song, there are lots of alternating voices. In terms of the singing style, “Miniskirt” follows a calmer state, although towards the end, powerful vocals are released. Everyone also manages to pull their own weight; every line was definitely solid.

Above average vocals in “Miniskirt.” While they hold their ground of having decent vocals, nothing in this song pushes it beyond that. This may be due to individual singers failing to be exceptionally stunning, but nevertheless, the vocals are far from being sheer average. Every member had above average vocals, which, once again, is not terrible at all, but as a result, it leads to the song’s overall vocals reflecting that rating.

– Song Structure: 7/10 (7/10 raw score)

The song goes in this structure and order:

Introduction, Verse, Pre-Chorus, Chorus, Post-Chorus, Rap, Pre-Chorus, Chorus, Post-Chorus, Bridge, Conclusion (Post-Chorus)

1. Introduction: 7/10 – Being the first prototype for a shorter Song Structure section, my plan is to simply explain my given score. I will not be describing the section. I am hoping readers will not get confused on which section is which, but as always, hearing feedback would be great.

Anyhow, Jimin handles the introduction.

A solid aspect to this introduction is how simplistic it is; a simple beat and Jimin’s vocals are the only things added. On the subject of the beats, they occurred with Jimin’s voice and a piano-related sound (once again, forgive me for my ignorance on instruments). While individually all three parties are plain, when combined, solid chemistry is created. Jimin’s added “Hey” followed the same rhythm as the beat and sound. “Miniskirt” possesses a compact introduction. The song’s slower pacing is established, the beats and sound heard will recur later, and Jimin’s added lines creates anticipation towards potential vocals later heard.

Overall, above average will be the score. Simplicity is beauty. By using simple beats and such, “Miniskirt” manages to grasp a decent score. The slower beats and sound entices listeners, and Jimin’s words add a catchy, amplifying effect due to proper syncing to the sounds. What does prevent a higher score is potentially dullness; the same sounds were practically recycled for the entire introduction. Thankfully, however, that issue is on the minor side, and with the introduction being shorter and having solid yet subtle build-up, the issue is easily dismissible.

2. Verse: 7/10 – Hyejeong and Choa handle the only verse in the song.

Coming after the introduction, the verse does an excellent job of transitioning. Focusing on the section itself, knowing both of these ladies are very adept singers, the vocals are rather promising. Hyejeong and Choa stretch out the endings of their lines, and as a result, the melody becomes more varied and diverse. Furthermore, with a calmer stretch, it complements the developing instrumental. Choa and Hyejeong’s lines proved to be charming and full of tune.

Overall, an above average verse. The ladies’ singing vastly contributed to this section. Their lines were well sung. A sweet melody and proper pacing was heard. Another notable feature is how well the verse progresses; vocals were slowly brought in along with the instrumental. If the verses left a stronger impression, perhaps an 8 would be possible. While the singing and development were good, nothing utterly stands out in the verse. Nevertheless, a decent section worthy of a 7.

3. Pre-Chorus: 7/10 – Four members handle the pre-choruses: Chanmi, Mina, Hyejeong, and Seolhyun.

To instantly shed light on perhaps the strongest aspect of the pre-choruses, the line distribution is beautiful. Of the four members mentioned earlier, they each are responsible for one line. By having such a dynamic format, it brings lots of variety in terms of voices, and in general, the alternation leaves a solid impression of multiple singers. In terms of the singing itself, the vocals heard continued the established trend of remaining gentle and melodic, and during this section, Hyejeong showcases lovely high notes.

In summary, the diversity is welcoming; four members sung, different notes were utilized, and the melody varied. Additionally, despite the copious amount of variations and complexity, it was all germane and cohesive. The four ladies alternating was well coordinated, and even Hyejeong’s higher notes at “haihil” and “seutaking” were within the song’s established boundaries of pitches (and yes, if you are thinking those Korean words sound awfully similar to the English words of “high heel” and “stockings,” you are correct; those words mean exactly what they sound). Although this section seems worthy of an 8, a 7 will still hold as the score. The vocals do continue the song’s style, and while they are not necessarily weak, the singing does not prove to be stunning enough to receive a higher score. The pre-choruses possess an amazing format, but when factoring in the vocals, it comes out as above average, which, of course, is still decent.

4. Chorus: 7/10 – Yuna and Choa handle the choruses. As some readers may know, I am a huge fan of Choa’s singing and her personality these ladies are arguably the strongest vocalists in AOA. Both of them are stellar singers, and with that, high expectations are set.

As foreseen, the singing here is solid; both Choa and Yuna are bringing in energy, smooth and soothing vocals, and some note stretching. Taking a more detailed approach, for the note stretching, when “ipgo” is sung, the ending becomes lengthened, and the melody follows suit with varying. While individually it provides an interesting and catchy part, it vastly aids the chorus in that it provides contrast to the following line; the line after is noticeably faster and more energetic.

Overall, solid singing from the adept combo of Yuna and Choa. While the singing was solid, as a whole section, unfortunately, nothing pushes the choruses towards being exceptionally captivating. Perhaps by having more variation (both of them followed the same format; the first line has a note stretch, then after would be the faster line) this section would be more promising, but nevertheless, it holds as above average with a 7. On the positive side, the two ladies disclose why they can be viewed as AOA’s top singers.  

5. Post-Chorus: 6/10 – For the post-choruses, every member, for the most part, sings (those who have seen AOA during their “Miniskirt” era on the variety show “Weekly Idol” will recall the humorous incident related to everyone singing; a live, perfect version of the post-chorus is rather strenuous), but ignoring the full group humming, for the individual lines that occur, the members of Hyejeong, Choa, Seolhyun, and Yuna are responsible for them.

Format-wise, the post-choruses have potential, but sadly, they fall slightly short. The post-choruses follow the structure of having everyone hum to a melody, and after that, a member has a solo line. Firstly, the humming part, unfortunately, does come off as slightly stale. Unlike their latest song of “Like a Cat,” the humming here (although in the other song it was moreover chanting than humming) does not hold as infatuating. While it may be slightly catchy due to fluctuating tune, with how exceptionally fragile it sounds along with losing stable, sustained sounding vocals, the humming is on the weaker side. Focusing on the solo line, to highlight the strengths, it does provide a break and a change from solely the humming. Nevertheless, the solo lines were just that; they provided some variety, but individually, the solo lines fail to hold their own. Due to the shorter length, a melodic, catchier line would be near impossible, and thus, the sole purpose of the solo lines is to create some diversity.

Slightly above average will be the rating here. While the post-choruses are not too distasteful, more could have been expected. Ending on a positive note, AOA’s song producer made a promising revision to this style of post-choruses; “Like a Cat” has one of the catchiest post-choruses I have ever heard, and even after weeks, that part still retains its attention-grabbing attribute. Back on topic, the post-choruses in “Miniskirt” lack the stable vocals that have been heard up until this song section. If the humming was limited to and alternated between specific members, perhaps the tune would have been less sensitive and fragile sounding.  

6. Rap: 8/10 – Jimin, Mina, and Chanmi handle the rapping part. To note, however, it is arguably mainly Jimin rapping. Actually, more accurately phrased, Jimin is the only one rapping (technically, anyways). Mina and Chanmi add supporting, regular singing vocals.

After listening to many of AOA’s songs, Jimin’s talent as a rapper is something quite admirable. Thankfully, for “Miniskirt,” listeners are graced with her usual skills. Jimin’s rapping is impactful, lingering, and fluent. Additionally, being swift with her rap is not an issue. And, although I feel rather remorseful for somewhat bashing her voice in a previous review (and as explained, I am judging from a musical standpoint; every voice is genuinely beautiful), for this rap, it deserves praising for adding power and flow. To focus on Mina and Chanmi, although they did not necessarily rap (as a side note, Chanmi is a capable rapper, and Mina is a solid support vocalist), they aided Jimin through standard singing lines. In this song’s case, after Jimin finishes her entry rap line, Mina and Chanmi’s lines created a slight pause in the rap. Although typically raps remain uninterrupted, in “Miniskirt,” this method augments the section: more variety is created, the song still contains its style and trend of not being overly energetic, and Jimin’s rap gets further emphasis. Solid, delightful aspects become elicited due to this rap’s structure.

A higher score will be given. Despite not being a full rapping section, the breaks of Mina and Chanmi’s singing aid Jimin’s rap. Every member’s line were significant, and as a whole, it constructed a promising song section.

7. Bridge: 7/10 – The lovely duo of Yuna and Choa make a return for the bridge.

Having the vocals and instrumental showcase proper synergy is a solid aspect to the bridge. With a typical bridge format, the instrumental becomes passive. Yuna’s singing syncs up to that; her vocals reciprocate the piano’s gentle tunes by having a softer, exceptionally melodic style. Once the beats recur, Choa’s lines follow a similar rhythm. Furthermore, besides respectable syncing, a decent note hold is heard; the beats hyped the song back into its standard intensity, and to add a climactic piece, Choa tosses a powerful note hold.

Overall, above average will be the bridge. Both of the ladies’ singing were soothing and reflecting the instrumental. As for what remains slightly weaker, the format itself is rather plain and thus, nothing proves to be exceptionally impressive. “Miniskirt” possesses the typical build-up bridge; the format follows a pacified instrumental and vocals, and eventually, a rebound happens that leads to a note hold. Specifically for this song, the execution may be strong, but by possessing neither utterly stunning vocals or instrumental, a higher score will not be gained. If a standard format is utilized, “mechanical pieces” (vocals, the instrumental, etc.) become the main highlight, and in this bridge’s situation, the mechanical aspects only hold as above average.  

8. Conclusion (Post-Chorus): 7/10 – Finally, the conclusion. The post-chorus is reused, this time, however, Choa and Yuna perform two-part singing via note holds.

There are mixed feelings towards this song’s conclusion. Quickly addressing the satisfactory components, using the post-chorus leaves a lasting remnant of “Miniskirt.” Considering it is a conclusion, that achieved effect is desirable. Also, the two-part singing format is not too poor. In many cases for a conclusion, two-part singing is rather effective at giving a final climactic point or, at the very least, leaving a powerful finish. What remains questionable is not necessarily the two-part singing itself, but instead, the execution behind it. While the note holds feel natural due to the previous note hold at the bridge, there is a sharp contrast that occurs: the fragile, sensitive humming and the stronger, piercing note holds sound unfitting next to one another. With the contrast, the note holds seemingly have extra strain, which often time is loathed during note holds since they should be executed smoothly with power and melody.

Peering at the section as a whole, it will still hold as above average. The strain emphasized can be overlooked, and for a conclusion, the main roles are still met along with some high note flaunting. Perhaps keeping solely Choa’s note hold at the bridge would solve the issues, but overall, a decent conclusion to “Miniskirt.”

– Line Distribution: 6/10 – To quickly give my opinion on the “speed review” structure, I hardly saved any time. Future speed reviews will probably need to be whittled down further by removing the summarizing piece (more on this will be at the very end of the review).

On topic, with 7 members in AOA, it should not be too difficult to share an equal amount of lines. Recalling my review on “Like a Cat,” they did surprisingly struggle slightly with how lines were shared (and hopefully their distribution in ”Con-Choa and Yuna-fused" “Confused” never returns in the future). Knowing the amount of shifting members in this song, a high score can be anticipated.

Choa was involved at the verse, choruses, a solo line at the post-choruses, and lastly, the bridge. No major issue is present, however, Choa might be slightly dominating. Depending on the other members’ share, Choa’s excessive lines may be a downfall.

Jimin’s parts were her standard ones (or at least, a plethora of their main songs follow this pattern); AOA’s leader handled the introduction, and of course, the rapping section. Sufficient spotlight is given. The introduction leaves a potent presence of Jimin, and considering her reputation of being a rapper, the rap section gave her a welcoming moment. Overall, a perfect amount of time was allocated for her.

Yuna will be the next member to gauge. Her lines were heard at the choruses, the post-choruses, and the bridge. Homogenous to Choa’s case, Yuna is responsible for multiple sections, but in terms of what is more beneficial, Yuna does not possess excessive lines. Being a main vocalist, the amount of time given here is perfect; Yuna was given enough time to showcase her talent, but likewise, was not singing a vast majority of the song. If my memory is correct, even in “Like a Cat,” her line distribution remains near perfect. No issues here whatsoever.

Hyejeong’s lines were heard at the verse, pre-choruses, and the one-line post-chorus section. Ignoring the verse, Hyejeong’s lines were mainly single ones. Nevertheless, her time was spread out properly, and due to that, no major problem arises. The only wish would be for an additional, lengthier section, but considering how miniscule that issue is, for the most part, Hyejeong had an appropriate share.

Taking a side note for Mina, my condolences goes to her due to an unfortunate incident; her father passed away a while back. Although she is now back with AOA and such, I hope her future comes with luxury and positivity. Her father raised a wonderful, extremely intelligent and talented lady. It is unfortunate that Mina had to endure such a lost. Bringing back a cheerier tone, Mina’s part in “Miniskirt” were the pre-choruses and the rap section. Sadly, in both sections, Mina handled solely one line. A slightly redeeming factor is that the pre-chorus is replayed, and thus, more spotlight, but overall, Mina is lacking in comparison to the other members. More time could have been given.

Once again, for another digression, Seolhyun was absent for the promotion part of “Miniskirt.” From what I know, she had a knee/leg/ankle injury, and thus, was incapable of performing on any live stage performances. Now to answer how she got injured, using my own vague knowledge (and for those who desire accuracy, I simply recommend searching around for the proper answer), she was attending a sports/athletic-related show when she got her injury. This also reminds me, I could start bashing a specific show that exploits idols for athletic purposes (there are a lot of subtle yet negative aspects to this show), but for the sake of time, I will skip it. Anyhow, thankfully, in the future comeback of “Like a Cat,” Seolhyun was able to perform, and therefore, experienced her first first-place stage performance win (and fans will remember her waterfall of tears backstage due to that). Now to finally be on topic, Seolhyun’s lines were at the pre-choruses and the post-choruses. Like Mina, her lines were purely single ones; she had one line at the pre-chorus, and one line at the post-chorus. Hearing some actual singing time, such as in Hyejeong’s case with the verse, would be desirable.

Lastly, Chanmi, the maknae of AOA (youngest person) has lines during the pre-choruses and the rap. With having the exact spotlight as Mina, it can be concluded that Chanmi is slightly absent of lines. More lines could have been bestowed, and interestingly, despite being a support rapper, she did not have a rapping spotlight to display.

Overall, although on the surface “Miniskirt” seemingly discloses equal, properly shared lines, the reality holds as somewhat weak. Yuna, Jimin, and Hyejeong had a proper amount of lines while Choa was slightly dominating, and for Mina, Chanmi and Seolhyun, they were on the lacking side. Slightly above average will hold as the Line Distribution score. It was not utterly one-sided, but even with their vocal/rapping roles, a better share should been given.

– Instrumental: 8/10 – Simplicity is a strong factor to the instrumental of “Miniskirt.” Every sound holds as rather basic; the beats, pacing, melody, and flow are all on the average side and contain little complexity. Due to the simpler setup, the instrumental becomes versatile. Individually, the soundtrack is soothing and gives off a classier and gentle yet catchy tune. When accounting for the vocals, it provides a sound foundation (no pun intended) that the vocals can manipulate; stronger vocals are supported by a more energetic instrumental, and blatantly, the opposite holds true when the vocals are more relaxed.

Personally, I find it rather hard to decide between an 8 or 7. In the end, after listening to the official instrumental, I will rate it at an 8. It remains solid in multiple categories: individually it holds well, in unison with vocals it holds well, and with syncing up to the vocals’ intensity it holds well. Furthermore, it is a simple and classier-themed soundtrack. A solid score is to be expected.

– Meaning: 7/10 – With a song title of “Miniskirt,” many listeners are probably pondering at the meaning. Will it be about a lady showing off her charms? Or perhaps it will be a flirtatious story. And to share some background about this song, from what I recall when it was released (back before I became obsessed with these incredible ladies was keeping updated with AOA), this song was controversial. I will discuss this in the “bonus” section of the Meaning score, but to quickly share my opinion, in no way is this song anywhere near controversial. Although it may seem questionable in terms of lyrics and choreography, this song does not warrant a lot of horrible name-callings that I have seen. Besides, I find it rather–to be blunt– stupid, that people would direct anger at the lyrics and choreography towards the ladies when the veracity shows the song producers and choreographers are the ones to blame.

Anyhow, let us take a look at the lyrics to find out what “Miniskirt” is about. As always, these lyrics are not 100% accurate, but through these translated Korean-to-English lyrics, the story should be unveiled:

Hey, hey, hey, AOA, hey, hey, hey
Brave Sound (Drop it)

Your eyes that look at me
It’s not the same as before
I’m still good-looking
But why do you look at me like I’m a worn-out shoe?

I’m so pretty, whatever I wear
I’m so sexy, even if I don’t show skin
My risky high heels, black stockings
You won’t be able to take your eyes off of me, don’t stop me

When I wear a miniskirt
and walk on the street, everyone looks at me
I’m wearing a miniskirt
But why are you the only one who doesn’t know?

I’m a confident girl, but why are you making me struggle?
You only ignore me, I don’t know where I’ll bounce off to

I make time to get my nails done and change my hair
I wear new shoes and wear a miniskirt but you don’t notice
Why are you so indifferent?
Before other wolves come snatch me away,
pay attention boy

I’m so pretty, whatever I wear
I’m so sexy, even if I don’t show skin
My risky high heels, black stockings
You won’t be able to take your eyes off of me, don’t stop me

When I wear a miniskirt
and walk on the street, everyone looks at me
I’m wearing a miniskirt
But why are you the only one who doesn’t know?

I’m a confident girl, but why are you making me struggle?
You only ignore me, I don’t know where I’ll bounce off to

I’m getting more and more tired
Even your eyes that look at me, why is it so cold?
I don’t know,
but it’ll change now

I’m a confident girl, but why are you making me struggle?
You only ignore me, I don’t know where I’ll bounce of

Before we have some fun, let’s focus back to the musical aspect of this song. This story depicts a “girl” (correct term would be lady) who is attempting to grab her love-interest’s attention. Unfortunately, the boy remains apathetic; despite the lady’s new and chic fashion, “high heels” and “black stockings,” and even with getting “nails done,” the love-interest does not care. Heart-breaking for the lover, the lyrics in “Miniskirt” are rather unique. Most lyrics around the story of love tend to be either more flirtatious, or on the other spectrum, rather melancholy in describing a break-up. However, in this song, while it remains in the flirting category, it is a one-sided relationship. The lover invests plenty of time to impress the love-interest, but ultimately still fails.

Above average will be the score due to a differing approach to the same, tedious lyrics of flirting. Additionally, the details here are slightly varying and support the idea of how the lover is being rejected. Examples of the lady’s new clothing and cosmetics showcase her struggles at infatuating her love-interest.

Now it is time for the bonus section, and now that I have been doing this for a while, perhaps an official title such as the “Critical Corner” will eventually be made. I will attempt to find a title that will not induce cringes. Firstly, I will address one common reaction to this song that goes along the phrasing of “This song is offensive; ladies should not be depicted as only dressing to impress males.” While that statement is true in its underlying meaning, it is also hindered. Females should feel free to dress as they wish, for whatever they wish. Should a lady desire to dress nicely, it should not be assumed she is attempting to attract people. However, should a lady dress in an exquisite manner in order to captivate her love-interest, such as the character in this song, then that is also acceptable. It is short-sighted to view only one side of this spectrum. Regardless of gender, the ability to dress without warranting uncalled and undesired attention or remarks should be granted. If a lady wishes to look charming for her love-interest, then no issues should arise. If a gentleman desires to dress up for the sole sake of looking nice, then no assumptions should be made.

Progressing to the next controversial piece, it is a comment that analyzes the lyrics: “ ‘Miniskirt’ is offensive and objectifies females as only sexual beings; wearing a miniskirt, high heels, stockings and such only support that idea.” Again, we have an idea where the underlying meaning is correct, but once again, this sight falls short. Here is a serious question to ponder over: Why would wearing a miniskirt be objectifying? Also, who says wearing a miniskirt is inappropriate/objectifying? My personal stance on this is no, miniskirts are not objectifying. What a lady wears should not matter. It is the spectator who determines what is objectifying, not the clothing itself. Females should be able to wear whatever they desire to without warranting unwanted hate or in extreme yet common cases, sexual assaults. What does create objectification is when the clothing or what else is solely emphasized on sexual purpose; there is a significant difference between seeing a lady wearing a miniskirt and saying “she looks very nice today, good for her” and “her revealed legs makes sex desirable with her” (and how awkward it is to type that; even at my current age, the subject of sex still makes me blush). In summary, it is not a crime for a lady to wear clothing that are “questionable” when it should not create any disruptions whatsoever in the first place. And before someone tries to loophole my point, yes there is still a line between appropriate dressing and not, but I am being realistic here with examples such as miniskirts, high heels, stockings, make-up, and more. If my argument is slightly confusing, apologies for not formulating my thoughts correctly.

For the sake of progressing the review, I will cut it off here. As a final message, “Miniskirt” is nowhere near controversial as people make it out to be. It is pitiful and saddening to see the general conclusion is that the song is offensive, when in reality, it is not. If people gained the mentality of seeing females as humans, then all the controversy surrounding this song would not exist in the first place.

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Choreography Score: 7/10 – In case some readers are too worked up over my previous words due to either agreeing or disagreeing (which is actually good; getting worked up over matters that I would consider important is great), before we hop back into the musical perspective, I will share a somewhat jocular story. As noticed in the dance practice, the ladies of AOA are wearing high heels (and other apparels that match up to the lyrics). Besides taking time to admire their skills for being able to dance in them (and credit to other idols as well; even males with insoles to increase their height deserve credit), I will admit I can confirm the difficulty of maneuvering in high heels. And before people get an inaccurate idea, let me tell the story of “My High Hell Experience.” No, “Hell” is not a typo, and apologies if anyone is offended. I should re-label the story, but I believe hell is very accurate word to describe my experience.

This was back when I was perhaps around 6 or 7 years old. Since I am too lazy to do the math I do not quite recall the age, I do remember it was around 5th grade, so let that be the age gauge. Anyhow, my family went on a camping trip and I was wearing sandals. Key word: I was. They ended up snapping at the end, and therefore, were unusable. Lucky and unluckily, instead of walking in splinters and such, my mom happened to bring along high heels. And before someone asks “who brings those to camping trips?” I will say, I asked the same thing. But to answer it, they were not exactly high at all; the heel happened to be more elevated by a very minimal margin than the front. Now, I was graced with not rejecting it due to the idea of gender limitations on objects, but instead, I was resistive since they looked intimidating to walk in. But, being a little boy that would accept anything, I attempted to walk around in them. Key word once more: attempted. I staggered over everything, and instead of walking, I ended up sliding the high heels instead of lifting my foot. Eventually a few more minutes passed, and I felt more confident. Perhaps my incredible journey of shifting a few feet was an admirable milestone, but I decided to genuinely lift my foot up. First step was well, but the second one ended up causing the shoe to tilt sideways, and of course, my entire being tumbling over. With both luck and perhaps some agility, I managed to land a foot away from the campfire (thank goodness it was covered by a metal circle and a grill top), but I nevertheless felt as if I nearly met the environment of hell (or in my little boy version, “becoming chicken”). Fast forward, my cousins donated me an extra pair of sandals, but I will never forget the valuable lesson I learned. Ignoring the obvious one of how fire can kill, even to this day, I still hold a subtle admiration at people who can walk in elevated shoes, be it high heels or added insoles. Now, what does this have to do with AOA and “Miniskirt”? Perhaps more respect at their coordination and dexterity, but at the very least, should you ever become a parent/are one, do not let your little boy or girl wear high heels near a campfire.

Back on topic after an extremely silly story, let us go back to the K-Pop world of AOA and “Miniskirt.” The choreography here may be considered slightly sexual, but unlike other songs, AOA pulls it off in an artistic manner. And without diving into another discussion, refer back to the Meaning section and think of this dance as a lady wearing a miniskirt; it is not necessarily a crime for AOA to execute this dance as long as it is taken as a choreography, and not seen from a sheer sexual perspective (and I think this phrasing/idea was what I was trying to articulate earlier).

“Miniskirt” ‘s choreography may be on the more mature and sexually-orientated side, and ignoring the social aspects and focusing on the pure dance, this is somewhat concerning. Typically, sexually-orientated choreographies are inhibited; emphasis on a body part or such often time reduces the dance maneuver down to a very basic, and incoherent motion. Surprisingly, this does not apply in this dance, and thus, even with the sexual-orientated part, the choreography remains intact.  

Breaking the dance apart, in terms of the syncing, it is very accurate. Beats are connected with a certain movement, and for what this song does well, even the musical flow is linked to a dance maneuver. For example, the pre-choruses and more clearly, the post-choruses have movements that connect to the pacing of the song such as slow movements. In terms of key points, most hold as solid. Every dance set was unique and varying from the rest. Transitions from each one were also well done. In terms of the weaker key points, the post-chorus was a bit plain, although nevertheless well synced. Positively, however, the bridge key point dance is somewhat mediocre. The transition to it was beautiful, and the addition of chairs added a new dimension. What holds it back, however, was the sexually-oriented piece; everything leading up to it was perfectly synced, but once that moment occurred, the choreography became completely unsynced and moreover chaotic. At the very least, it does shift back to being decent to conclude properly.

Overall, despite being hefty on the sexual side, the choreography remains well synced with the song. Key points were also solid. The bridge section remains as a double-edged sword; everything was incredibly synced and stunningly executed until the butt-shaking took hold. Above average will hold as the score. While sexually-oriented parts should be questioned and critically analyzed, the choreography still contains proper syncing and solid key points. If the bridge was revamped slightly, a higher score could be possible.

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Overall Score: 7/10 (7/10 raw score) – With both the Song Total Score and Choreography Score being rated at a 7, the Overall Score will be the average of that which results in a 7. I do agree with the Overall Score; above average seems to be a proper label for “Miniskirt” in regards to both the song and dance.

Although I am on break, I am taking sleeping time off just to catch up on reviews, but I cannot complain and I feel at rest knowing I finished this review. This review, ironically, took longer despite being a “speed review,” so I will definitely revisit my idea. I will attempt to cut out the summarizing piece in the Song Structure section, so once again, another experiment will have to unfold.

As always, thank you very much for reading. Considering I have been slacking, if you have been checking back regardless of my slower rate, it means a lot and I cannot express enough gratitude. I will do my best to improve my rate and quality of reviews.

For those wondering on future reviews, I will finally begin a very old requested review, and I feel extremely guilty and ashamed for being this lethargic. Thank you for waiting, it will be finished soon. After that review, I have a lot in mind, so let’s hope I create a concise format soon in order to cover the plethora of songs in mind.

That said, this seems to be a proper place to end this review. I have some “Winter Time” songs I want to review for the time of winter. Whether you celebrate a holiday or not, hopefully this time is a great moment to spend time with loved-ones. Anyhow, thank you once more for reading this. I appreciate the support, and please feel free to send feedback and even ideas for concising down my reviews. After all, as my incredible teacher has mentioned, although I cannot quote her exactly, shorter writing means more ideas are bundled and expressed more efficiently and precisely. Anyhow, more pondering on that later as I would like to sleep. Keep checking back for more reviews. Remember, you are “sexy, even if [you] don’t show skin” because sexiness should be reconstructed and redefined to be more realistic. Being hard working, friendly, and intelligent and more is what determines sexiness, not physical attributes. Stay tuned and thanks once again for reading.

T-ARA – “Little Apple” Review

T-ARA – Little Apple (Audio)

T-ARA – Little Apple (Live Performance)

T-ARA – Little Apple (ft. Chopstick Brothers)

Reviewed on December 5, 2014

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Personal Message: A small change of plans occurred; I originally planned to review Girl’s Day’s “I Miss You,” but instead, I will review T-ARA’s recent collaboration. Before this review starts, there are multiple things to address with this song. Firstly, in regards to the links, I have linked a live performance along with the regular audio. The live performance’s audio is not clear at all, so the audio link is to compensate (although props to the ladies for solid live singing; according to an “MR removed” video, anyways).

Now, in terms of discussing a current rife “fear” of fans, many will notice only four members of T-ARA are involved for this collaboration. Let me say it once more: collaboration. And if the upper left-hand corner of “Special Stage” is not clear enough, this is not T-ARA’s official comeback; “Sugar Free” is still technically their latest song, but positively, that song still holds as their latest comeback. So, for fans fearing that T-ARA has booted out Boram and Soyeon, from what I personally can tell, that is not the case and it is simply due to only the other members being a part of this collaboration.

Transitioning to the mentioned subject of collaboration, for people who are familiar with either Korean and/or Mandarin, it is noticed that this song has both those languages; Korean is heard for every section minus the chorus, and Mandarin is heard at the chorus. The reason behind this is T-ARA worked with a currently trending and popular Chinese artist/duo, Chopstick Brothers. As heard in October (not sure), T-ARA’s label company, now known as MBK Entertainment (instead of CCM/Core Contents Media Entertainment), signed up with some Chinese media company in order to begin expanding their own media to the Chinese market. Fast forward a month, T-ARA has begun that expansion; they have cooperated with Chopstick Brothers to turn Chopstick Brothers’ song, “Little Apple,” into a Korean version. Anyhow, that is the background for this song, and thus, I would not consider this T-ARA’s comeback at all. On a somewhat unrelated note, MBK Entertainment’s CEO is known for manipulating ongoing trends in order to kickstart song releases (“Sugar Free” was during an EDM trend, “Lovey-Dovey” ‘s “shuffle” dance was during that trend, etc.), and not surprisingly, the same mentality occurs here. “Little Apple” was already a soaring and popular song, so having T-ARA recreating it in Korean is an easy way to flow with an established trend.

Now that sufficient excessive background information was given, let’s begin talking about the song itself. As stated, it is in both Korean and Mandarin, and that is a unique and welcoming combination. Personally, although I do not know Mandarin (I do know Cantonese, however), I was able to identify it instantly when heard. For a very short and horrible language lesson, for those wanting to know how to identify/differentiate the languages in T-ARA’s “Little Apple,” Korean has a “stronger syllable/distinct word ending” in comparison to Mandarin, which has a “combining syllable/word flow.” I sincerely cannot describe it well at all, but nevertheless, be welcoming and appreciate every language in this world; each one holds a lot of cultural meaning, and each one is deserving of respect. Anyways, perhaps my ability to identify Mandarin is due to my childhood being filled with my parents watching Mandarin films at times, or, most likely, Mandarin trot songs that were occasionally played (for those who are unfamiliar with the genre of trot, to describe it briefly, it, and apologies for my ignorance/lack of better phrasing, is “festive” in terms of the vocals coming off as slightly exaggerated; I truthfully cannot describe it, but with T-ARA’s trot section during the variety show, “Weekly Idol,” I am sure people have been exposed to the genre). Although many people may feel flustered, I think it is great that multiple languages are introduced in a song. Music is subtle yet capable with allowing some minimal language exposure. Besides, the standard Korean and English combo in K-Pop songs should be slightly more diverse.

In all seriousness, on the subject of the song itself (I apologize for my huge digressions), the term I used to describe this song was “stupidly catchy” since, if we were to systematically break it down (as we will once the review begins), it should not be too promising. However, despite the numerical values that will be assigned, even if they are on the lower rating, this song is exceptionally catchy (makes me ponder over the actual science behind what the human brain deems as “catchy”).

That said, the ladies of T-ARA involved are Eunjung, Jiyeon, Qri, and Hyomin. They are teaming up with Chopstick Brothers to deliver their Korean version of “Little Apple.” From the live performance and lyrics, this song does lean towards the sillier, jocular side, but nevertheless, the ladies prove to be very charming and cute. In fact, I will even throw in the term sexy considering these four ladies are incredibly intelligent, hard working, talented, and a countless list of other amazing attributes. With adorable hairstyles and blush makeup (although I personally am not a huge fan of that) and yellow jumpsuits (is that the correct vocabulary?), T-ARA attempts to induce smiles and laughter. While they may succeed with such, does their song hold as solid? We will find out.

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Song Total Score: 7/10 (6.6/10 raw score) – Average score of the sub-categories

– Vocals: 5/10 – If my ears are correct, Jiyeon was the only member who was singing in their usual voice. Everyone else, however, had to flip on the “ ‘Roly Poly’ vocals” as I call it; the other three members were singing in a childish, cheery demeanor. While that vastly aids the song with adding the fun, sillier atmosphere, in terms of vocals, that style is hardly impressive. T-ARA is definitely capable of achieving a 9 for vocals. “Number 9” and, especially through ballads such as “Hurt” and “Hide & Seek” (adding a biased note of how Soyeon’s voice is so soothing in those songs), it is very blatant that every lady of T-ARA is adept with singing. Unfortunately, due to the style of singing in “Little Apple,” the score is heavily impaired and does not hold their standard. The melody and flow might have been catchy, but as said before, catchiness does not correlate to how decent a song/singing is.

Overall, average vocals. The style might have been lighthearted and alluring, but in the aspect of showing solid singing skills or capturing attention via captivating vocals, the singing falls short..  

– Song Structure: 7/10 (6.5/10 raw score)

The song goes in this structure and order:

Introduction, Verse, Pre-Chorus, Chorus, Verse, Pre-Chorus, Chorus, Bridge, Chorus, Conclusion

1. Introduction: 6/10 – It has been a while ever since I reviewed a song with a straight-forward structure. “Little Apple” follows the standard form perfectly and thoroughly.

In focus of the introduction, the song begins with a strange “approaching” sound. After that, the instrumental’s/song’s main melody is showcased through beats and such. Eventually, the song transitions to the verse.

For an introduction, it fulfills its role of preparing the song; the main melody is given, and the “poppier,” sillier tone is also set. Specifically looking at the instrumental, it comes off with a fun and upbeat appeal. The beats provided a heavier foundation, and the main melody sounds were rather catchy. In terms of weaker aspects, the initial seconds (that warping sound at the start) could have been potentially avoided. Even without it, the introduction would have still flowed smoothly. In addition, while the background beats and bass were providing a pleasing component, the main melody sounds, while very lingering and catchy, are not delightful individually; after all, hearing “dingdingding” becomes somewhat tedious and annoying.

As a whole, slightly above average. The initial seconds and the melody remained on the weaker side, but nevertheless, the melody was definitely catchy. Furthermore, the bass and beats emphasized that. If the main melody was less repetitive or had a better tint to it, this introduction would easily reach a 7.

2. Verse: 7/10 – For the verses, the pair of Qri and Eunjung handle them.

The verses begin with Qri singing in an absurdly higher pitched voice. Although her singing style remains questionable, in light of her melody, it matched up to the instrumental’s beats and rhythm. Once Eunjung arrives, she simply emulates Qri’s singing style and melody.

Firstly, the vocals here are rather mediocre; singing in a childish, somewhat nasally style is not appealing in terms of sound. On the bright side, it does aid the song’s upbeat mood. Ignoring the vocals, the lines’ melody and pacing were still quite catchy. Furthermore, the instrumental did a phenomenal job with remaining passive yet prominent; considering it is an early stage in the song, having an instrumental come off potently would be overwhelming, but thankfully, it was the perfect quantity.

The verses structurally have a lot of potential. The melody remains diverse and fun, the pacing was aligned with the instrumental, but unfortunately, the pure mechanical aspect of how the vocals sounded bring this section down. If Qri and Eunjung were singing in their usual voices, although some of the cheerier atmosphere might disappear, the verses could easily hit an 8. Above average will nevertheless hold as the score, but a higher score is definitely in reach if the vocals were improved.  

3. Pre-Chorus: 6/10 – Hyomin handles all of the pre-choruses.

The pre-choruses in “Little Apple” are relatively straight-forward and simple. Hyomin sings a line which is then backed up by a “Hey!” or such. This repeats for three times. To be specific on how the line is structured, the melody does connect to the beat, but nothing is drastic in terms of varying notes and such. On the subject of the soundtrack, as the pre-choruses progress, the instrumental does the standard format of accelerating its beats. At the very end, the section concludes with a Mandarin phrase.

While simplicity is far from being horrendous in a song (ballads are rather simple yet they possess incredible structures), in this section’s case with remaining relatively plain, it created a negative contrast between the established fun, upbeat, and joyful mood of the previous sections. Hyomin’s lines were not too exciting, and most of the generated hype derives from the instrumental quickening its beats. In focus of the lines, while the added spices of “Hey!” and such at the ending prevented staleness, they do not redeem Hyomin’s actual singing lines. The vocals were only average, and without adding onto the catchy and fun trend, her lines prove to be weak.

Overall, slightly above average. Everything here was, in the perspective of the previous sections, too simplistic and basic; the instrumental creating hype via speeded beats and Hyomin’s lines were nothing outstanding at all. The attempts of adding the jocular aspect were not successful, the ending words per line were not appealing, and the final outcry of the Mandarin phrase was moreover obnoxious than hilarious or fun. Hyomin is indeed a solid singer, but sadly, this section fails on bringing her justice.  

4. Chorus: 6/10 – The chorus, as mentioned earlier, is where Mandarin arrives. For this section of “Little Apple,” both T-ARA and Chopstick Brothers are singing (the live version does differ; only one member sings the Mandarin I believe). Additionally, Jiyeon handles a few solo lines.

From the start, Mandarin is used. Every member sings, and Chopstick Brothers are adding in their own vocals as background. The unison singing comes off as cohesive, and it still holds a catchier melody. After that, Jiyeon arrives with her own lines which are in Korean. This format repeats twice. In focus of the instrumental, it supplied a consistent and constant rhythm to accompany the vocals.

Although the chorus is relatively catchy and structurally sound for the most part, it still fails to hold as solid. When it comes to the decent aspects, the vocals were not too poor; Jiyeon was able to sing in her usual voice here unlike her members, and the unison singing remains adequate. In terms of the flow, it transitioned between unison and solo singing, which does add in some diversity. Unfortunately, while the vocals and instrumental are catchy and sufficient, nothing came off as impressive. Jiyeon might have been spared of singing in the childish, higher pitched style, but even then, her vocals were not too spectacular (although in general, Jiyeon is a very talented vocalist). Likewise, with the instrumental, the beats and bassline added a supportive foundation, but that was it; no other benefit was gained nor did it shine by itself.

In summary, the choruses are rated at slightly above average. The alternation between unison and individual singing added some pleasing variety, however, in the entirety of the section, nothing sounded utterly captivating. Lacking prominent points prevents this section from receiving a higher score.  

5. Bridge: 6/10 – Initially listening to this song, I feared that a bridge would be misplaced. In the mindset of the average bridge, I was predicting “Little Apple” to contain an abrupt, unsuitable bridge that would be too passive. I have been proven completely wrong; “Little Apple” utilizes the pure soundtrack for the bridge. No singing occurs.

Specifically describing the instrumental, it shifts into a funkier, treble-oriented (probably the wrong term) sound. Towards the end, the melody returns to the established one that was heard at the introduction, and furthermore, the beats quicken until the final chorus is played.

Homogenous to the verse where the structure was solid while the mechanical aspects, such as the vocals, faltered, the same idea applies here. To begin on the worse note, while the soundtrack was catchy, it was a rather weak instrumental solo. With the electronic-based and treble sounding piece, the instrumental was plain and slightly tumultuous. Even with the shift occurring, the revived melody still held as only average, and as complained about in other reviews, the standard use of accelerating beats in order to create hype or transitions is loathed. However, what vastly safeguards this section from falling into a “negative” score is how properly placed and executed the bridge is. Transitions to the bridge were very smooth, and in regards to how it was executed properly, the style used was appropriate. Instead of pacifying the song or adding a high note hold, the bridge simply added a singing break and allowed the pure instrumental to play.

Slightly above average will be the score. While that is not necessarily a strong grade, considering how the soundtrack itself was on the mediocre side, it would have been worse if not for the excellent style and placement of the bridge.  

6. Conclusion: 8/10 – At last, the conclusion. Surprisingly, this song did not recycle its chorus; “Little Apple” opted to have its own finishing moment.

The song concludes with mainly the baseline lingering around with occasional snaps and beats. Eventually, at the very end, a few beats occur spontaneously before it entirely fades.

Initially I expected, and in fact, preferred that “Little Apple” would end right at the final chorus. However, after listening for multiple sessions, I have come to appreciate the conclusion. Firstly, a separate section would feel less abrupt than cutting the song off at the final chorus. Considering how energetic the choruses are, if it were to end shortly after, it would seem too sudden. Now in focus of the conclusion itself, the bassline and slower, heavier beats gave the song a concluding sense. Even the last moment with the quicker beats were suiting.

After an upbeat and hyperactive song, this type of ending properly wraps it; with minimal instrumental activity, the final and proper remnants of “Little Apple” were left. A solid score will be given. The conclusion fulfilled its role in both style and ensuring that nothing was abrupt.  

– Line Distribution: 9/10 – Without Boram and Soyeon being included for this song, the score here should be a free 10/10. Chopstick Brothers will be excluded considering they are featured.

Firstly, Qri was involved with the first half of every verse. While it is not majorly lacking, in comparison to the other ladies, Qri is slightly behind. Nevertheless, it is exceptionally minor, and for the most part, no issue arises. On a slightly random note, I personally am glad Qri was given a decent amount of lines. While I confess she is the weakest singer in T-ARA, that does not mean she is incapable of decent vocals. In many other songs, Qri is noticeably bereft of lines.

Back on topic, in Eunjung’s case, her lines were practically identical to Qri’s; she handled the second half of every verse. The duration of her lines may be short, but factoring in how Qri also has the same identical length of lines, it alleviates possible issues. Similar to Qri, for the most part, Eunjung’s lines are sufficient.

Next up is Hyomin. Her spotlight included all of the pre-choruses. Now, while Qri and Eunjung had similar lengths, there is a disparity in comparison to Hyomin’s lines. Hyomin’s section was vastly longer. However, considering that every lady had her own consistent song section, this does not hold as too concerning. Nevertheless, it will be something to consider later. In short, her longs are lengthier than Eunjung and Qri’s lines, but it does not hold as a large issue.

Lastly, Jiyeon’s part included her solo time during the choruses. Overall, her lines’ time span were roughly equal to Hyomin’s duration. Nothing too drastic comes out of this, although it is definitely notable that her lines have more spotlight.

The final factor to account for is that every member sings during the chorus (in the official audio, anyways).

As of now, the overarching perspective is that Qri and Eunjung have equal lines, and Hyomin and Jiyeon have equal lines as well. However, comparing the two different combos, the Hyomin and Jiyeon pair does have a bit more time for singing. In the end, the only solution would be to have Jiyeon or Hyomin split one line or so, but considering how minor the disparity is, and additionally that they all sing during the chorus, the Line Distribution score will receive a higher score. 9/10 will be the rating. 

– Instrumental: 6/10 – While this type of instrumental is not preferred personally, I cannot deny how catchy it is. A lot of the song’s energy and upbeatness derives from the soundtrack. In terms of the vocals and instrumental pair together, both aided one another; the instrumental added stable and heavy foundation for vocals, and the vocals assisted the fun and catchy aspects of the instrumental. Individually, however, is where the soundtrack falters. Electronic sounds with nothing complex creates only a plain, typical pop soundtrack. Of course, electronic-based instrumentals can still achieve high scores, and although a K-Pop song does not come in mind, songs from the Drum and Bass genre instantly come to mind. Actually, T-ARA has shown that electronic-based soundtracks can, indeed, be solid; “Sugar Free” is a prominent one along with “Number 9.”

Anyhow, slightly above average is the score for “Little Apple” ‘s instrumental. It may hold as very catchy and melodic, but considering how basic, simplistic, and even slightly dull, the soundtrack is, only a 6 is earned. Nevertheless, there is solid chemistry between the vocals and instrumental, and for that itself, the rating is not too poor.

– Meaning: 6/10 – On the surface, this song may seem to be a health campaign towards eating apples, but that would be awfully strange for a song by T-ARA. If that is not the case, then what does “Little Apple” symbolize? Through not just Korean-to-English lyrics, but also a few Mandarin-to-English lines, we may potentially answer that question. And as always, this is not 100% accurate (especially with the Mandarin piece, although I trust translation sources on that):

It was love at first sight
I fell in love, is this what love is?
I wanna go to you and tell you
that my heart is pounding
(that my heart is like that)

I’ll be happy if we’re together day by day
You are the joy of my life
I keep feeling small when I’m next to you
In case you might forget me
(don’t leave me)

You are my little apple
No matter how much I love you, it’s not enough
What do I do about my burning heart?
I think I’ve fallen for you
You are my little apple
Like the most beautiful cloud in the sky
It’s okay even if you don’t know
Because I can read your heart

I won’t complain
that you don’t know my heart,
that you’re not looking at me
All day, I think of you
You appear in my head
I miss you (right now)

Whether it rains or snows, I’ll protect you
If the sun and moon disappears, I’ll be your star
If I can stay by your side whenever
From morning till night
(my heart is getting warmer)

You are my little apple
No matter how much I love you, it’s not enough
What do I do about my burning heart?
I think I’ve fallen for you
You are my little apple
Like the most beautiful cloud in the sky
It’s okay even if you don’t know
Because I can read your heart

You are my little apple
No matter how much I love you, it’s not enough
What do I do about my burning heart?
I think I’ve fallen for you
You are my little apple
Like the most beautiful cloud in the sky
It’s okay even if you don’t know
Because I can read your heart

Out of all of the ways to describe a love-interest, I have never expected “apple,” yes, an edible fruit, to be used. As seen, a sillier yet cute mood is given. Anyhow, the lyrics describe a lover who has a “burning heart” towards their love-interest. There are sweeter details of this lover’s feelings, and it definitely shows that she/he is madly infatuated. In terms of addressing the “Little Apple” title, it originates from the lover’s metaphor; “You are my little apple” is how the lover thinks of the love-interest. Strange and rather quirky, but nevertheless the emotions and jocular aspects are seen through the use of “little apple.”

While I am in favor of completely cheesy, romantic love stories different, unique lyrics, “Little Apple” only holds slightly above average lyrics. A lot of the details are repeated; lines may be phrased differently, but the same general idea is given. Multiple aspects showcase the lover’s affection, but that is primarily it. Different details that prove to be compelling do not exist (but credit to having some diversity). Despite being only a 6, I am still a fan of the lyrics, and I personally find it quite jocular and sweet. So, for those in love, feel free to call your love-interest a “little apple.” Beware, though, your “little apple” might become rather sour.

Transitioning over to the part where I get to deconstruct or complain about certain lines, although the song’s general meaning is positive and adorable, there are some questionable phrases. And as always, I am not accounting this into the grading. Consider this an extra bonus to this section. On track, after reading over the lyrics once more, the very first and only line holds as troublesome; “love at first sight” is a hugely debated subject, and I personally am not in favor of it. Now, to cut straight to the predominant idea that is always thrown at me (and now that I think of it, I have gotten into too many arguments over this simple phrase): “Love at first sight is true because you cannot stop biology; if you find someone physically attractive, you will automatically love them.” 

Firstly, if love is only considered a simple physical attraction, it is time to re-evaluate your entire life then that truly concerns me. Love is extremely complex; that should speak for itself. Love on the basis of a sheer physical attraction is not love; to love is to see beyond their physical appearance. Personality, dedication, intelligence, humor, those are all extremely crucial aspects to consider, and while physical appearance may be a factor, in juxtaposition to the others, appearance is beyond miniscule. Tying back to the main point on why “love at first sight” is erroneous, it cannot exist due to “first sights” not revealing those hidden, beautiful traits that account for a lot more than a physical attraction. Now, when the day comes where humans are psychic and can read minds, then I will accept that phrase. But, obviously, even with peering at a person, those personal attributes are veiled.

Of course, feel free to disagree. Perhaps since I have been raised with an extremely harsh culture on looks, I have become very rebellious towards the idea of pure physical attraction. Sometimes the physically prettiest people come out to be the most disgusting, grotesque looking once the cloaked aspects are revealed, and vice-versa, those considered not pretty physically are not at all; they are very beautiful and pretty once the important attributes are seen. I could go on for quite a bit on this subject, and in fact, I can even disprove the idea that physical attraction is “natural.” Yes, there may be biological/scientific facts, but they only cover the surface. I find that what is considered beauty is heavily socialized; you are taught what is “ugly” and what is “pretty.”

For a really quick example that I will create, let’s claim that science has proven that taller people are more physically attractive. Assuming there is seemingly unequivocal facts (perhaps it is consistent in thousands of animals, survey says that, people claim that, etc.), many will simply accept that as “normal.” However, let’s say the Short-Height-Only culture group believes that shorter people are attractive, and in that culture, from birth to death, that idea is ubiquitously spread. In the Short-Height-Only culture, if it is “natural” and scientifically supported that taller people are more physically attractive, then why are all the tall people deprived of affection and relationships in that culture? If the idea of “natural” is true, then the Short-Height-Only culture’s belief would not exist in the first place, yet it does. Again, I am just making the worst example ever, but going along with my silliness, that is my stance on the opinion of “natural” and why it is a pitiful excuse to use to justify certain actions in society (and for an example that irritates me: “Only men are leaders since it’s ‘natural’; try saying that to AOA’s Jimin and to thousands of other ladies who prove to be deserving and capable of a leadership position). Final thing to add, if it is not obvious yet, humans are the most “unnatural” creatures ever; unless if you find an animal that lives the exact lives as the so-called proclaimed “natural” human race, I do not think we are “natural” in the usual sense. That is not bad, however. In fact, it means we are sophisticated to the point that we are not governed by nature, but rather, ourselves. But, of course, that is not quite perfect since humans are not flawless.

Anyways, I have went on for too long, and this would even be more appropriate for a Blog Opinion post. I go on way too many random tangents, so apologies. Feel free to disagree with my own points. Being capable of seeing different viewpoints is vital, and likewise, I do see multiple stances on the idea of “natural” and such in regards to humans and beauty and whatnot. But, time to focus back on T-ARA’s song (and how I sidetracked to the different subjects, I have no idea).

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Choreography Score: 8/10 – Turning back the attention on “Little Apple,” the choreography utilizes simplicity. Despite that, it is still a decent dance, and in fact, complexity should never determine a choreography’s rating.

In focus of syncing, there were little to no issues; every movement linked to a beat or matched with the lyrics’ flow. Hyomin’s sections, the pre-choruses, are solid examples. The steps reflected the beats, the arm snaps were connecting the background vocals of “Hey!,” and the movement followed the flow of her singing/melody. Very impressive syncing in “Little Apple.”

For the key points, all of them gave off the vibrant, sillier atmosphere. None were stale, and most of the maneuvers reciprocated the song’s energy. Everything transitioned to the next dance set properly and smoothly as well. Fun and simple key points are seen.

Like in other songs by T-ARA, backup dancers are used. Considering there were only four members participating in this collaboration, they are vital to the choreography unlike in other songs (I still remain adamant on the idea that “Sugar Free” would have sufficed with purely the 6 ladies). Their role added an extra layer to the dance to prevent empty space. After all, only 4 members dancing to an energetic song would feel rather dull and vacant. As such, the backup dancers filled that gap. Furthermore, some sections needed the extra dancers; specifically, the moment right after the first chorus (it is the “pushing” dance; not sure on the official term but that should trigger the choreography scene).

Overall, with how flawlessly synced the dance was, the addition of backup dancers that properly supported T-ARA, and with fun, simplistic and chic key points, a higher score is well deserved. Seeing how the main points were hit, a solid score will be given. 8/10. In the sense of remaining simple and having a sillier and upbeat song, Orange Caramel’s “Catallena” (check out my review on it) is very similar to T-ARA’s “Little Apple”; both have a jocular theme, yet both remain simple and extremely well synced in terms of the choreography. A strong dance for this song, even if the song component is weaker.

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Overall Score: 8/10 (7.5/10 raw score) – In the end, the score of 8/10 is earned miraculously. In reality, the Song Total Score should be a 6, but a strong Line Distribution probably saved it. Anyhow, I do disagree that it is an 8 overall; 7 seems more suitable. In quick summary, “Little Apple” is slightly weaker in terms of the song itself, but what allows it to remain potent is how catchy it is. Furthermore, even with a weaker musical piece, the choreography proves to be outstanding. For T-ARA’s recent song and collaboration, not too bad. I will not consider this their official comeback since it is technically not (although it is claimed as that according to this live performance: T-ARA – Little Apple (Live Performance); and if I may add, those were some very, very charismatic fans). I have very high expectations for their future comeback with all 6 incredible, talented, exceptionally intelligent and beautiful ladies.

As always, thank you very much for reading. Huge apologies for some delay. I am currently working on multiple writing pieces, so instead of a consistent publish time, it will be burst of posts. But, everything should be on track hopefully. Anyhow, thank you once more. I sincerely appreciate the time and support. Thank you.

For those curious on future reviews, I have too many lined up. I will do a few “speed reviews” in which I will work at an excessively high rate. Unfortunately, those reviews will follow quantity over quality. Of course, however, the speed reviews are solely for songs that I just simply want to push out of the way or have little things to discuss (such as with Nine Muses’ Hyuna’s song of “I Like The Way Back Home”). I will still maintain my current style of reviews.Now instead of making digressions, to finally answer the question asked ages ago, I have received two song requests/recommendations. MAMAMOO’s “Piano Man” and Junggigo’s “Too Good” have been sent in, so I will prioritize them. That being said, my previous review of Girl’s Day’s “I Miss You” will be simply delayed. I am excited to review “Piano Man” considering, as the recommender stated, it has a style that I have yet to review. As for Junggigo, I am quite pleased to have received one of his songs. He is on my list of adept male singers; his vocals are extremely promising. Also, if I post things correctly in order, I should have posted a mini Blog Reflection about reading one of my first reviews ever: Girl’s Day’s “Something.” To personally challenge myself, I plan to review Girl’s Day’s “I Miss You” to see a contrast, but if you have not read that reflection post, I would recommend it.

Expect three reviews to arrive; MAMAMOO’s “Piano Man,” Junggigo’s “Too Good,” and Girl’s Day’s “I Miss You.” Do not forget, I will also toss in a few “speed reviews” to compensate for slower writing (then again, wouldn’t speed reviews make the writing slower overall?). Once again, thank you for your patience. Stay tuned and keep checking back. “You are my little apple, no matter how much I love you, it’s not enough.”

Moon Hyuna – “I Like The Way Back Home” Review

Moon Hyuna – I Like The Way Back Home (Video/Audio)

Moon Hyuna – I Like The Way Back Home

Reviewed on November 30, 2014

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Personal Message: Considering I’m on a rush for everything, I decided to do a “bonus review.” This review will be vastly shorter, but it is a simple way for me to add more reviews to my archive and to not overwork my brain after a 4-hour session of writing a research paper share the incredible bond between the amazing member of Nine Muses and her cats. I am currently hopping all over the place with reviews; I am in the progress of reviewing T-ARA’s “Little Apple” as well as Girl’s Day’s “I Miss You” (yes, I am being silly and slightly idiotic for multi-tasking). For those unfamiliar, Hyuna is a member of Nine Muses. If this song is not sufficient evidence already, she holds a solid vocalist position in the group, and considering Sera’s departure a while back, that position is even more heavily enforced.

Anyhow, I think this song was self-composed by her, and if so, it shows off how talented and intelligent Hyuna is. This also reminds me, I need to start watching Nine Muses’ reality/fun show of “Nine Muses Cast” (future show review, perhaps). On the subject of her feline pets, for those following her social media accounts, many are quite acquainted with these cats. She has posted various cute, silly, and heart-warming videos and pictures of them. Now, for this song, she took it a step further and decided to write one for them; the lyrics express her love towards them.

Although this is not a fully polished, heavily drafted song that is expected to sell in the K-Pop industry, it is one that is personal and from Hyuna herself. Nevertheless, I will grade it as if it were the standard songs I review until I remember how sweet her cats are. But, even with the stricter grading guideline, I foresee this song holding well.

Without further wait, let’s see why Hyuna “[Likes] the way back home.”

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Song Total Score: 6/10 (6.25/10 raw score) – Average score of the sub-categories

– Vocals: 7/10 – Even if the song lacks complexity and such, that does not hinder Hyuna’s decent vocals. For “I Like The Way Back Home,” Hyuna showcases sweet, soft, and melodic vocals. Nothing is drastic in terms of showing off power or high notes, but her smooth, soothing, and gentle style is definitely a pleasure to listen to. Even in Nine Muses, she has been known for splendid vocals, and in the group, her stronger vocals and higher notes are often time disclosed. Anyhow, all the work and practice she has done as an idol still translates over to this casual, self-composed song.

Above average for vocals. Hyuna’s voice proves to be very relaxing. If there were some extra varying lines to show off even more melody, an 8 would have been easily granted. Nevertheless, Hyuna possesses solid vocals, and as stated, in a standard Nine Muses song, she would be rated at an 8 with no issues.

– Song Structure: 6/10 (6.17/10 raw score)

The song goes in this structure and order:

Introduction, Verse, Pre-Chorus, Chorus, Verse, Pre-Chorus, Chorus, Bridge, Chorus, Conclusion

1. Introduction: 6/10 – A very standard structure for this song. That is to be expected considering how this song is rather simple.

For the introduction, a piano melody plays out along with a background harmonica (probably wrong on that; forgive my ignorance).

While the introduction sets up the song properly with the gentle tone, it was a tedious and simplistic melody; there was little diversity if any at all for how the melody flowed. Furthermore, the harmonica only added a basic foundation; even that instrument failed to be compelling.

Considering how it did set the song’s mood, at least the role of an introduction was fulfilled. Nevertheless, for an introduction, it is rather plain and lacks a lot of necessary details to make it significant. But, considering how this song is rather simple, not much is to be expected. Slightly above average is the rating.

2. Verse: 6/10 – For the verses, Hyuna arrives with calm yet stable singing. Like the piano melody that occurs as she sings, her melody does remain simple and repetitive; the same pitches and flow is used.

Continuing the simplicity theme that was established at the start, the verses are slightly lacking. The piano melody follows a stagnant flow, and unfortunately, even Hyuna’s lines follow suit. Thankfully, her voice and singing is pleasing enough to earn some points, but overall, this section remains somewhat stale. Slightly above average is the score.

3. Pre-Chorus: 6/10 – The pre-choruses still possesses the same, tedious piano melody at first, but eventually there is a shift. In terms of the vocals, however, it does differ from the verses. This time, Hyuna is stretching out a word’s duration. Eventually, the piano slows down as Hyuna creates some hype, especially at the “lalala” part.

The first section of the pre-choruses are relatively plain; the piano still carried over the repetitive melody, and while Hyuna’s style differed, the stretched out words were still not too appealing. However, towards the end, the piano slowing down along with Hyuna adding in some extra energy to her singing gave a significant, welcoming shift. That piece not only allowed a smooth transition, but it added the necessary change of pacing and flow in order to prevent the song from becoming even more dry.

Slightly above average is the score. The ending section of the pre-choruses gives a decent boost to the score.

4. Chorus: 7/10 – Now if the sections leading up the chorus were dull, this section redeems that; this part is flourishing with a variety of melody and pacing. Hyuna’s vocals continued the gentle style, but at the same time, extra energy was added. A cheery, relaxing, and upbeat mood was given. In terms of the piano, the melody became more layered than a simple, repetitive one.

This is where Hyuna’s song shines. The vocals are full of diverse melody, the piano became vastly more complex, and perhaps the strongest aspect is how well the vocals mesh with the piano and vice-versa. Hyuna’s vocals were more energetic, but the piano reciprocated that and thus, the choruses sound very soothing and delightful.

Overall, an above average section. This section is very relaxing and peaceful. Hyuna’s singing was solid here, and likewise, the piano instrumental.

5. Bridge: 6/10 – Hyuna begins the bridge with a slower pace. The instrumental also becomes passive to emulate her style. However, towards the end of the bridge, Hyuna does toss in a significant amount of power and does hit a higher note. Upon that, the piano escalates back to the usual flow.

While the vocals and piano were solid, this bridge is nothing outstanding. There were no prominent aspects that push it as incredible. Nevertheless, it holds its ground of being decent. The initial seconds were appeasing, and the follow up of the stronger vocals were welcoming, and thankfully, still within the realm of the overall softer, gentler tone.

Slightly above average is the score. The singing and instrumental were decent, but unfortunately, there was nothing too stunning.

6. Conclusion: 6/10 – The ending in “I Like The Way Back Home” reminded me of some childhood memories; a lot of the songs my parents listened to had this type of ending. Instead of an actual concluding part, the song simply faded out until nothing was heard.

Specifically on what occurred, the conclusion of this song had Hyuna singing a sweet, melodic tune of “Nanana/lalala” (I personally cannot differentiate if it is a “Na” or “La” sound) that eventually became more quiet until, as expected, nothing was heard.

In focus of the singing, it was a melodic and soothing way to finish. Unfortunately, however, with this type of ending, it did leave a slight abrupt feeling; after the last chorus, the song randomly transitions to the “Nanana/Lalala.”

Overall, slightly above average. The song itself was solid, but the method of ending remains questionable. The change to the melodic sounds were surprising, and even at the very end, it does not leave a sound conclusion, but rather, an ending that feels unfinished.

– Line Distribution: X/10 – Hyuna is singing alone, so this is not graded.

– Instrumental: 6/10 – Although I am biased towards the piano (I personally find it, in terms of sound, the most pleasing instrument), that does not automatically mean a good score will be given.

In light of the instrumental itself, it was predominantly the piano and harmonica. By itself, they stand as decent although somewhat repetitive. Adding in the vocals, however, and the instrumental holds well. The biggest asset to the instrumental is how well it supports Hyuna’s voice. In the end, slightly above average is the score. The lack of different melodies will impair the score, but nevertheless, the piano significantly added to the tranquil, serene atmosphere.

– Meaning: 6/10 – If the video itself is not a clear enough indication, this song will probably be about Hyuna’s adorable cats. Perhaps the title is “I Like The Way Back Home” due to anticipating her beloved cats’ attention and presence when she does return home. Anyhow, let’s find out what Hyuna is singing about through these Korean-to-English translated lyrics. And, unlike a lot of other songs, I will toss in that these lyrics may be inaccurate by a larger margin; since this is not an “official” song, but rather one that Hyuna composed, there are not multiple translation sources at all to check with. Nevertheless, it should be close enough, and adding in my own knowledge, I recognized multiple words that were correct per line. At the very least, the general idea is accurate. Anyhow, here are the lyrics:

Samsung Station, Exit 2
30 minutes walking distance from home
I’m so tired today for some reason
I feel pretty down too

I’m so tired but
This familiar street, this familiar town
I sing lalala

I like the way back home
I like your soft eye smile
Your soft tail and your light steps
My white cat, Moya
I like the way back home
I like your awkward eye smile
Your rubbing body, your meowing sound
My talkative cat, Hoya

I feel you even before I open the door
The flower has blossomed
Pretending that nothing’s up, that you don’t care
But inside, you’re going crazy

I’m so tired but
This familiar street, this familiar town
I sing lalala

I like the way back home
I like your soft eye smile
Your soft tail and your light steps
My white cat, Moya
I like the way back home
I like your awkward eye smile
Your rubbing body, your meowing sound
My talkative cat, Hoya

Stay by my side tonight
Stay by my side tomorrow night
You’ve fallen asleep and your small weight
makes my steps go faster

I like the way back home
I like your soft eye smile
Your soft tail and your light steps
My white cat, Moya
I like the way back home
I like your awkward eye smile
Your rubbing body, your meowing sound
My talkative cat, Hoya

As predicted, the song is about her cats. Hyuna is expressing how her cats give her positive energy throughout her day. Even with being tired, she knows she is coming home to a pair of loving, adorable, fluffy pets. Furthermore, she also describes some special attributes of each cat; Moya, the white cat, has its tail, eye smile, and steps praised, and Hoya, the brown cat, is expressed via being very “talkative” with the constant meowings and being cute with rubbing its body.

Overall, slightly above average for the Meaning Score. Different details are given regarding her cats, but nothing is extremely extraordinary. Also, some additional details could have potentially garnered this section a 7. But, of course, the overall meaning is something very admirable and sweet; Hyuna truly loves her feline companions, and through singing and composing a song for them, she truly showcases that bond.  

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Choreography Score: X/10 – Being a ballad and self-composed song, no dance exists. The purpose of the song was for Hyuna to express her love towards her cats, Hoya and Moya.

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Overall Score: 6/10 (6.25/10 raw score) – With purely the Song Total Score, Hyuna’s composed song of “I Like The Way Back Home” concludes with a 6, so slightly above average. Considering this song was simply made as an ode towards her cat, that score is impressive enough. Once again, this was moreover a bonus and fun review than anything else, so the scoring should be taken lightly; after all, the main focus of this song is about love, as cheesy and silly as it sounds. If everyone was genuinely happy and everyone knew how to love one another, this world would be an extremely joyful place (obviously, right?).

Personally, I enjoy this song despite how simplistic it may be. Perhaps the ballad side of me cherishes it, or it might be the Hyuna-loving side in addition to loving her pets, but regardless of the reasons, I find this song worthy of listening to.

Anyhow, as always, thank you for reading this review. Even if this review was vastly shorter than my usual ones, I decided to do it for a bonus/filler review, and primarily, to share the video. The world has enough things to get angry and sad about (although it is still very important to tackle the things that create such feelings), so why not have a video of adorable cats to create some smiles?  

As said earlier, I am currently working on T-ARA’s “Little Apple” and Girl’s Day’s “I Miss You.” After those reviews, I will begin my requested song (apologies for the delay). Now, in regards to the songs after that, I plan on reviewing a male artist (plenty are on my list). Considering how I have been very busy for November, I am disappointed at my current quantity of reviews, but of course, quality over quantity. My current plan is for a strong, finishing push. At the very least, if I fail to publish a few reviews before November ends, I will have a head-start advantage for December.

Stay tuned for T-ARA’s “Little Apple.” It should be finished by tomorrow the end of today. Truthfully, I am writing this while it is 12:45 in the morning, so technically it is already November 30th. Anyhow, I apologize for the lack of reviews. I have been busy with finishing some work, and in honesty, I did put some time towards watching videos and other activities. Randomly switching subjects, that reminds me, I have a month reflection to do, so that will be something to look forward to.

I have said enough. Thanks for reading, enjoy this video and Hyuna’s singing. Keep checking back for my review of T-ARA’s “Little Apple,” and remember, I feel very grateful to have you “Stay by my side.”

AOA – “Like a Cat” Review

AOA – Like a Cat (Live Performance)

AOA – Like a Cat (Official Live Performance)

AOA (Ace of Angels) – Like a Cat

Reviewed on November 22, 2014

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Personal Message: I am exceptionally delayed with releasing reviews. As of right now, I am drowning with lots of work, and with due dates being threateningly close, I’m not prioritizing reviews. Nevertheless, I am still attempting to work on this review as much as possible per day. And, since I believe in honesty, I have been slacking slightly in both work and reviews; videos have been draining a lot of time. But, considering how AOA has been the most hilarious group (so far in my experience) to go on “Weekly Idol,” I believe the time lost is somewhat understandable. Furthermore, I have been pumping extra time into practicing for my E-Sports team. Performance-wise, I’ve been slacking so I am trying to correct that.

Anyhow, as readers may have predicted, I am finally reviewing AOA; specifically, “Like a Cat.” This song definitely poses as a serious contestor to T-ARA’s “Roly Poly” for what I would consider the “catchiest song.” Before anything else is said, to address the link, it is a live performance but, knowing FNC Entertainment’s trend (AOA’s label company), their official dance practice video should be released as well. Unlike a vast majority of other K-Pop labels, their company actually takes the time to upload multiple perspectives of AOA’s choreography; versions of eye contact, full view, and even mirrored have all been uploaded for their previous songs (or at least from what I browsed through). For a better view of the choreography, search up their official one. As of the time I am typing this sentence, their company has yet to upload it, but I am confident in their release of it in the future. That also reminds me, an acoustic version could potentially be released as well. Those versions are extremely beautiful and graceful.  "Short Hair" Acoustic Version is one I cannot recommend enough; in fact, I will link it: AOA – “Short Hair” Acoustic Version (I’m a huge ballad fan as readers may know).

Now to add even more delay before the actual review (although for those who can’t stand my tangents, feel free to just skip this section), I will give my opinion on AOA as a whole. I am still personally familiarizing myself with these ladies, but nevertheless, I have found them to be very captivating and solid. To begin, I will focus on their personality side. All of the members have definitely won my heart via interviews, going on shows, and such.

For those curious on a specific lady of AOA that has captured my attention, Choa has proven to be very charming. While her exquisite hair style and glistening eyeliner and eyeshadow hold as infatuating, her attitude makes her even more beautiful. She constantly strives to improve her skills as a singer and dancer. Her wish is to become a popular singer one day, and I have complete confidence in that outcome (and arguably, that has already come true). Another aspect that I found really admirable was her background; her parents had no intentions of allowing her to pursue a career in the entertainment business (realistically, most parents would be against that). Nevertheless, she yearned to be a singer and pursued it despite her parents’ desires. After multiple audition attempts, she made it. Passion is a powerful drive; anyone is capable of accomplishing anything through following it. Anyhow, Choa has proven to be a very remarkable, inspiring lady. Besides, if not for anything else, at least her laugh is very jocular and sweet. Now, if only she was as “hip” as her younger members. Then again, keeping up with the current pop-culture of slang and whatnot is quite difficult. Even without being 24 years old like her, I tend to be out of the loop for everything (and likewise in my own team, I end up being the laughable one for being oblivious; even more embarrassing is that I’m the second youngest).

This also brings me to another point: age. AOA is, so far in my experience, the youngest group I know of; their average age is 21 (I think). It’s also quite interesting that Jimin, their leader, is not the oldest despite holding that position (ironic that I am the one saying that). But, of course, my vision of a leader is heavily distorted by stereotypes and such; when it comes to the leader role, I envision the person to be the oldest, and additionally, I would expect her to come off with a serious, upholding demeanor. Although Jimin falls short on being the oldest and having a solemn attitude, she still showcases excellent responsibility and care towards her members. And actually looking over this section, I really don’t know how this relates to anything. I wanted to start a conversation on K-Pop idols’ ages and how, for a lack of a better word/phrase, they are “bereft of a ‘normal’, youthful life.” After all, it is intriguing to know that the ladies possess no cell phones, and through the variety show “Weekly Idol,” recently got gifted with a TV. FNC Entertainment may be the one responsible for this, but obviously, it is unclear. And actually, it is another subject that I find the lack of those electronics “intriguing” (I am guiltily poisoned with the idea of electronics and such as “normal”). Time to get back on track; this is perhaps the most random, unrelated Personal Message section I’ve ever wrote for my reviews.

In terms of what readers typically come here for, I will now address AOA from a K-Pop/musical standpoint. The very first song I heard from them was “Confused,” and unfortunately, I found that song to be on the weaker spectrum. Eventually, they continued to rise in popularity, and with their release of “Short Hair,” I finally paid more attention. Fast forward further, their current comeback of “Like a Cat” solidified their position on my personal list of groups to remain updated with.

Something I find respectable and enlightening is the fact that AOA has kept their original style throughout their career. Whether it’s their sexy-themed concepts or their distinctive way of singing and song producers following their trend, it has all remained identical. There was no sudden switch that left people clutching at their aching hearts (I’m obviously in no way referring to Hello Venus’ “Sticky Sticky”; I’m also in no way self-promoting the previous review I wrote on that song). While arguably there was a change in terms of switching from an actual band to the standard dance/singing groups, I will exclude that. The final point on why I find this impressive is due to their growth in popularity. From my personal experience, most of the groups that have made it to the higher tiers did, at one point, make a sudden change or, in a lot of cases, constantly go through different concepts and style to keep a high appeal (T-ARA is perhaps the prime example; they have done multiple, varying concepts to gain the public’s love). In Ace of Angels’/AOA’s case, despite retaining the same mature concepts, they are still growing. Changing to please current trends never occurred. Furthermore, witnessing a group that can be considered “underdogs” work their way to the top is satisfying; a sense of pride and proudness derives from that sole idea (and perhaps this is a miniscule tint on what parents might feel when their children grow up).

I have stated way more than enough (I never knew I’d be so loquacious about AOA) . I will personally blame the dark chocolate I consumed during my time of writing, but anyhow, it is time to focus on their comeback of “Like a Cat.” As foreseen, the seven ladies of AOA are returning with a sexy-themed, mature style. This time, however, their main concept/idea is, as Jimin said in their silly dance tutorial, “learning dating skills from a cat.” The lyrics and dance manipulate a cat’s communication and movement in relation to love and flirting.

Anyhow, did the guard-beating diamond-stealing spies of AOA acquire a jackpot jewelry that will captivate ladies and men? The music video claims so, but through this review, let’s find out for sure.

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Song Total Score: 7/10 (6.6/10 raw score) – Average score of the sub-categories

– Vocals: 7/10 – Tossing a quick disclaimer, as always, I recommend listening to the official audio. Listening to the live performance, in the case of wearing headphones, it sounds rather jumbled (live singing/not singing and background playback are not meshing well for this performance). Nevertheless, the quality isn’t too awful.

In light of AOA’s vocals for “Like a Cat,” they are rated on the higher side. AOA does an exceptional job with carrying forth the melody. The flow is catchy, upbeat, and full of altering pitches. In terms of power, while this song was not orientated towards that aspect, the members showed off impactful, lingering lines. Another excellent aspect of these adept singers is how consistent and stable their voices are. Now, in regards to what is not as solid, the post-chorus and (hoping that Jimin won’t whip me like the guards fans won’t decimate me) their leader’s singing/rapping voice hold on the weaker side. The post-chorus showcased a tedious, melodic sound of “Lalalalala,” and while it holds as exceptionally catchy (more in detail later), the vocals disclosed there were not stunning. Before I begin discussing Jimin’s voice, as mentioned elsewhere, I am judging from a musical lens; every voice is unique and beautiful, and in no way am I attempting to bash a specific type of voice. Jimin’s normal speaking voice is very gentle and sweet. With my safety ensured that said, although her rapping is mechanically sound, her higher pitched, nasally voice does contrast every other member’s voice harshly. Her vocals may benefit the introduction, but overall, juxtaposing the other member’s singing to Jimin’s, the disparity stings.

Above average is the score for “Like a Cat.” From what I have observed, AOA as a whole are not the most adept at singing, but they nevertheless possess decent singing skills. Yuna and Choa are their main vocalists (Hyejeong is also worth mentioning), and indeed, they alleviate the vocal load for their other members in this song. Everyone else, although they held their ground, failed to show off utterly mesmerizing vocals.

– Song Structure: 7/10 (7.4/10 raw score)

The song goes in this structure and order:

Introduction, Verse, Pre-Chorus, Chorus, Post-Chorus, Rap, Pre-Chorus, Chorus, Post-Chorus, Bridge, Conclusion (Post-Chorus)

1. Introduction: 8/10 – Jimin is their go-to member for initiating songs; “Miniskirt,” “Short Hair,” “Moya,” and now that I recall more of their songs, practically all of them have had Jimin leading it. For “Like a Cat,” there is no exception to the trend; their leader starts it off.

“Like a Cat” begins with a seemingly random and slightly obnoxious horn sound. After that, Jimin arrives with her lines. With her unique nasally and high pitched voice, she tosses out energetic, catchy, and upbeat English phrases (and while pronounciation is not graded, applause for her flawless English; it was so comprehensible that I actually mistakened a Korean line for an English one). The flow of the lines remain very diverse with different durations, lengths, melody, and background vocals. At the very end, Jimin concludes with the signature of “Brave Sound” (their song producer).

While there are a multitude of weaker aspects to the introduction, it still possesses a higher score of an 8; a solid score. Focusing on the strengths of the introduction, variety and energy have to be the biggest factors. By utilizing different structures such as background vocals of “geu eodil bwado” (means “no matter where you look”; this was the line that I personally heard as “I’ll be by the toe” when in reality, it was a Korean line) and “I know,” it generates and establishes the song’s energetic tune in addition to preventing staleness. Every line spoken was individual and not identical to any other part. Jimin exceeded her role; not only was the song’s mood and energy properly prepared, her varying lines provided a proper hook that would bind listeners.

Contrasting the strengths of this section, what does remain lacking would be predominantly Jimin’s voice along with the questionable horn sound. Regarding the very initial seconds of the song, the horn sound was moreover tumultuous than musical; it was loud and could have been potentially evaded. The only benefit that derives from the use of that noise was a cheap and quick method to instantaneously boost the song’s intensity and energy. Although, in the large scheme, that sound is necessary to smoothly begin the song, a different approach would be more desirable. As for Jimin’s voice, as stated earlier, it is not the most pleasing to hear for a song. While it provided forth a lot of energy and fun, it has a slight tint of annoyance and becomes slightly dull.

Overall, the introduction still holds as solid; the cons are miniscule considering how the horn sound was very brief, and solely Jimin’s voice itself comes off as slightly displeasing. Ignoring the lesser issues, however, and a strong introduction holds. The song engaged listeners via fun, upbeat lines. Additionally, the foundation was properly laid out; the song’s pacing, intensity, and style were all given from the start. An 8 is well deserved.

2. Verse: 7/10 – There is only one verse in this song. This format is not completely alien; we have seen this before in other songs that I have reviewed (not sure on specific ones). Anyhow, Seolhyun and Choa handle this section.

Seolhyun is the first one to sing. Her first two lines involve slower pacing to accommodate the developing melody. Certain endings of “…ae” were also exploited to create a lingering tune. Progressing on, her last line quickens in order to transition to Choa. Once Choa begins, her lines follow the same format as her fellow member.

The verse had the role of developing the song. Coming after the introduction which was relatively energetic, it would be too sudden to have the song play out in high-gear; as a result, a slower, methodical approach would be preferred. In this case, that happened; Seolhyun and Choa were simply constructing the song. By having vocals that were on the calmer side, the explosive vocals that occur later became preservered. In terms of the small sound play with the ending sound of “…ae,” it created some extra specialty to prevent the section from becoming dull.

In summary, the verses lie with a score of above average. While the setup was thoughtful and systematic, the vocals were not dazing nor was the instrumental enticing. Nevertheless, in terms of building up the song, this section fulfilled that role.

3. Pre-Chorus: 7/10 – Mina, a very kind-hearted member, handles the first portion of every pre-chorus. Hyejeong does support her; she arrives for the last half of the pre-choruses. Although pre-choruses tend to heavily hype up a song in preparation for the chorus, “Like a Cat” is a song that remains rather mellow. Therefore, the pre-choruses do not necessarily serve that standard role as typically found in a vast majority of songs. Fitting that role or not, the pre-choruses in “Like a Cat” are decent.

Mina starts the section off with an impactful presence. One line is normally sung, but after that, there is a unique chunking flow; lines of “Spotlight-light-light-light” and “Headline-line-line-line” become used. Once Mina finishes, Hyejeong arrives with melodic and semi-powerful vocals and wraps up the section.

Mina’s part augments this section vastly thanks to having the “Spotlight-light-light-light” (I did not intend for a pun) and “Headline-line-line-line” lines (I still hold my claim). Through this flow, it creates a lingering, catchy and tuneful section. In regards to Hyejeong’s part, her vocals were solid; melody and some power went towards it. Besides leaving a solid impression, her lines provided a very smooth transition to the chorus. Her vocals gave a glance for how the chorus’ vocals would be. As a result, the switch from the pre-chorus to the chorus is borderline undetected.

In the end, although the outline is solid, the singing, specifically on Mina’s part, was not spectacular enough to glean a higher score. Nevertheless, a very promising section that will lure in listeners whether it’s due to Mina’s lines or Hyejeong’s melodic vocals.

4. Chorus: 8/10 – Previously mentioned, the transition to the chorus is nearly cloaked; the chorus sounds as if it is simply an extension to the pre-chorus. While that could be possible, to keep sections less complicated, I will label this as the chorus (and overall, it is a chorus). Choa and Yuna, AOA’s strongest singers, cooperate for this section. Knowing the capabilities of these ladies (check out their acoustic cover for evidence), a solid section is anticipated.

Choa sings first. Her lines follow a slower, sliced up flow. Yuna continues with the same style. Reflecting on the vocals, they were, as expected, very solid. Both Yuna and Choa showcased a delightful and very melodic part. On top of that, the instrumental did its part of supporting the section.

Diving deeper, the strength of the chorus lies in the fact of having a strong flow of melody. For example, Choa’s chunked pacing such as with “sappunsappun” allowed catchiness to build. In addition, their vocals went through a diverse range of speed and pitches; some lines were faster while others were slower, and regarding pitches, the ladies were hitting higher notes at certain endings. Additionally, the instrumental amplified the section as a whole by remaining hyped enough to reciprocate the vocals, but at the same time, it remained passive enough to not strip the attention towards the singing.

A solid section. Having their main vocalists singing as a pair allowed for a very adept and fantastic section. The instrumental also gave justice with supporting the members.

5. Post-Chorus: 7/10 – The post-chorus involves all of the members, although Jimin does have solo lines. This section is perhaps the trademark of “Like a Cat”; it is simple yet extremely catchy. Mentioned earlier, this song challenges T-ARA’s “Roly Poly” for what I would consider the “catchiest song.” That is an impressive feat considering how the chorus of “Roly Poly” becomes heavily ingrained in listeners’ heads.

The post-choruses of the song follow the format of chanting “Lalala” (multiple “La”s; exact number will be at the Meaning Score) which is then followed up by Jimin tossing in an English line of “I’m good I’m hot I’m fresh I’m fly” (opinion on this later as well). This repeats twice.

Firstly, while the structure of the chanting is mediocre considering it is a standard chant, “Like a Cat” manages to unveil a decent section. Being exceptionally catchy is arguably the only, yet promising, asset to the post-choruses; the “La” chanting lingers around. Peering on purely the chanting, unlike a lot of other songs (Girls’ Generation’s “I Got a Boy” for example), the chanting here remains complex despite recycling the same sound tediously. The pacing varies, and likewise, so does the melody. In terms of preventing staleness, Jimin’s lines ensure that; the solo lines break away the homogenous flow of “La” sounds, and therefore, it allows some extra diversity along with a change in structure. 

Even though I usually loathe this type of format (chanting a sound over and over), “Like a Cat” manages to achieve an above average post-chorus score; a 5 at max is normally what I would give, but a 7 will be earned. Despite how many times I’ve listened to this song, the post-chorus still retains its unique chanting and catchiness. I will claim this is even more catchier than T-ARA’s “Roly Poly” ‘s choruses.

6. Rap: 7/10 – Chanmi and Jimin are responsible for the rapping in “Like a Cat.”

Coming right after the post-chorus, Jimin shoots out a few lines. Her lines follow a flow of rapping one line, and towards the end, having a kissing noise play as Jimin takes a short pause. After that, Chanmi arrives with her own rapping line. Once she finishes, Jimin wraps the section up with another line that ends with a “meow.”

Although I complained about Jimin’s voice earlier, it does aid her rapping via making it sound coherent and smooth. The rapping here was decently paced in terms of the song. What remains slightly weaker is the flow itself. Words were not pouring out like water; there were some rigid, rougher spots. On the subject of subtle details, there were plenty added. The kissing noise during Jimin’s pauses not only reflected the lyrics, but additionally, it created a variety from pure rapping. The transition was also smooth since the “meow” was a clear indication of the rap ending.

Overall, above average for a rap. The different details added make it a unique rap. If the flow of words were smoother, an 8 would have been possible. Nevertheless, it remains a charming rap.  

7. Bridge: 7/10 – The chorus duo returns for the bridge; Choa and Yuna deliver this section. High expectations are set for these ladies, so let’s see if they surpass predictions.

Yuna kicks the bridge off with a slower yet impacting line. Her next line slowly deescalates in terms of power, but it still retains the slower and melodic flow. Choa continues where Yuna left off. Her initial line possesses decent power and she adds a small note hold at “arajwo.” Further on, she tosses in a few English words and towards the end, she releases a lighter, impressive high pitched note hold at “bam~.”

While I would not personally mark this bridge as a phenomenal one, it still deserves a lot of highlight. Yuna’s intro to the section created some build-up, and with her slowly bringing her vocal strength down, it allowed a smooth transition for Choa. Once her member takes over, disclosing her adept talent was the focus. Choa’s power and note spectrum was revealed. Her note hold towards the end was also a solid mark on the climactic point of “Like a Cat.”

The structure and format of the bridge is admirable, and of course, the ladies’ vocals are as well. What does remain an issue, however, is it remains very basic; there was nothing to separate this bridge from other ones. The vocals were solid, but nothing was outstanding. Even the instrumental proved to be a background.

Overall, above average. The bridge lacks some extra aspects to push it towards an 8. Note holds that occurred were fine, but the other parts, such as Yuna’s initial singing, were not utterly captivating. Nevertheless, it is still a respectable bridge.

8. Conclusion (Post-Chorus): 8/10 – Finally, the last part of the song. The conclusion does have the post-chorus replaying, but this time, Choa throws in some two-part singing.

With the normal post-chorus playing out, Choa simply adds in some note holds of “Woah~” and tosses in an English phrase of “The pretty girls are here, oh baby come on~” which does end in a solid, powerful note hold. Once the dust settles with the original post-chorus fading, Choa adds a final line of “Come on over boy” which eventually disappears as well.

From the start, I will say this conclusion is solid. Having the post-chorus reused is an excellent way to leave “Like a Cat” ‘s remnants; the catchiness and looping sounds of “Lalala” and such will stay with listeners. In terms of Choa’s two-part singing, it was a strong finish. Her lines showcased power, sweet melody, and high note capabilities. Her part was also the finishing touch; it added the last climactic moment. When it comes to very end, it was a smooth end. No abrupt cuts or extended periods existed; it song calmly faded out.

A solid ending. This conclusion will net a score of 8. It is stunning in regards to both the two-part singing and the alluring post-chorus. “Like a Cat” concludes effectively and efficiently.

– Line Distribution: 6/10 – With a size of 7 members, distribution of lines may be slightly challenging. Nonetheless, it is very plausible to achieve a high score.

Starting with Choa, she appears at the verse, the bridge, and of course, the choruses. To excessively add more, she also performs two-part singing at the conclusion. As many can tell, she had sufficient time; “sufficient” is a questionable term, however, considering that she might have been given too much time. Being too prominent might cause scarcity of lines for other members, but we shall find out.

Next up is Jimin. The leader’s moments involved the introduction, the solo lines during the post-choruses, and lastly, the rap section. No issues exist here. Every section she appeared at was rather influential; the introduction radiates with her presence along with the other sections.

Yuna had no issues, either. Her lines included the choruses, and she had a part in the bridge. While she may seem lacking in comparison to Jimin and Choa, for what a member should be given in this song’s duration, Yuna had the perfect balance; not lacking but not excessive.

Hyejeong’s lines occurred at solely the pre-choruses. Since her lines were on the longer duration, no issues truly stem from this except for a lack of variety. For the most part, no issues.

In Mina’s case, her “Spotlight-light-light-light” (I’m sure people saw that coming) consisted of solely the pre-choruses. Similar to Hyejeong, since her lines were lengthier, she had enough time. Although singing different, additional lines would have been preferred, there is little trouble here.

Seolhyun, unfortunately, does remaining somewhat lacking. She occurred at solely the first and only verse, but unlike Jimin, her lines did not leave any impactful, lingering memories. Due to that, she can be seen as deprived of some singing time. Having one more additional moment elsewhere would have been desired.

Lastly, we the maknae (youngest person) of AOA: Chanmi. If Seolhyun’s lines, or lack thereof, proved to be an issue, then Chanmi is in a rough situation. Essentially, her lines are completely unnecessary, and sadly, it would have been even viable if Jimin simply took her lines. Chanmi occurred at the rap section in which predominantly Jimin was rapping; only two lines were rapped from Chanmi. Similar to an old review of Boyfriend’s “Witch,” the rap section in that song had the same issue; two people rapped, but in reality, only the main rapper was necessary. Anyhow, a horrendous distribution for Chanmi; her lines were not only short, but furthermore, were completely replaceable with Jimin simply taking over.

One additional factor to account for is that all the ladies sing during the post-chorus, but unfortunately, since that section leaned moreover towards chanting than singing, it loses its value of being “lines” in the song.

In the end, 5/7 members had adequate lines, and even then, scrutinizing further would reveal that it is still somewhat imbalanced. Choa comes off as too prominent although biasedly, I can’t complain, and Mina and Hyejeong were slightly lacking. The only member with a near-perfect distribution was Yuna. Overall, disappointing for a share of lines. For the score, considering it was mainly 5/7 members (that equates to roughly 70% of AOA) singing, adding in the vital factors of how Choa slightly overpowered the song and Mina’s and Hyejeong’s semi-lacking lines, a lower score will be given. 6 for slightly above average. Normally, 6-membered groups do fine, so even adding one more person should not prove to be troubling. On the other hand, even 9-membered groups are capable of solid distributions. It is somewhat disappointing to see issues occur here.  

– Instrumental: 7/10 – The instrumental in “Like a Cat” is pleasing; it adds a supportive foundation for the vocals along with other utilities.

Meshing with the vocals was natural; neither parties contrasted the other one harshly. In terms of matching up to the song’s flow, that was followed through. The instrumental was only as energetic as the vocals. A clear example is observing the pre-chorus to the post-chorus: the instrumental steps up a notch to accommodate the singing, but once the post-chorus arrives, it plays out as slightly passive in order to fit the chanting. Individually, the instrumental had a soothing, attractive, and catchy influence. A solid soundtrack by itself.

Overall, above average. It lacks the extra spice to gain a higher rating, but nevertheless, it holds as very suiting towards the vocals, and on its own, it comes off as a catchy soundtrack.

– Meaning: 6/10 – “Like a Cat” is a unique title. I predict lyrics that tell a flirtatious love-story. After all, Jimin did claim that datings skills can be derived from a cat. For an off-topic story/fact, apparently slowly blinking at a cat (or receiving such) is their way of sharing affection. For those wondering if this is true, I will ask a teammate who is obsessed with cats (his cats are truly adorable and irresistible). On topic, through these Korean-to-English translated lyrics, let’s find out the story:

Hey no matter where you go
(No matter where you look)
The pretty girls are AOA
You know (I know) You know (I know)
I’m good I’m hot I’m fresh I’m fly
Brave Sound

You say you’ve never seen a girl like me before
That you had a feeling as soon as you saw me
Said that I especially shined
even among the many people
Your head turns to look at me
Your eyes are filled with me
Seeing you hesitate
to talk to me is so cute

The sunlight shines on me like a
spotlight-light-light-light
Only I am in your head as a
headline-line-line-line
Even when you dream, you’ll see me
Are you worrying? Stop it
Come to me, baby come on

I’ll walk over to you like a cat
Picking a rose,
I’ll give it to you,
I’ll surprise you
I’ll walk over to you like a cat
When you’re asleep,
I will softly hug you,
I’ll surprise you

Lalalalalala Lalalalalala Lalalalalala
I’m good I’m hot I’m fresh I’m fly
Lalalalalala Lalalalalala Lalalalalala
I’m good I’m hot I’m fresh I’m fly

I want to go to you like a cat
Tonight, without anyone knowing
I wanna softly kiss you on your lips
when you’re sound asleep
You and I, on this sweet night,
let’s hold tight to the night
You’re my wolf,
I’m your cute cat

The sunlight shines on me like a
spotlight-light-light-light
Only I am in your head as a
headline-line-line-line
Even when you dream, you’ll see me
Are you worrying? Stop it
Come to me, baby come on

I’ll walk over to you like a cat
Picking a rose,
I’ll give it to you,
I’ll surprise you
I’ll walk over to you like a cat
When you’re asleep,
I will softly hug you,
I’ll surprise you

Lalalalalala Lalalalalala Lalalalalala
I’m good I’m hot I’m fresh I’m fly
Lalalalalala Lalalalalala Lalalalalala
I’m good I’m hot I’m fresh I’m fly

We fly high, hug me tonight
and fly higher
So I can touch
the clouds and the moon
Know how my trembling heart
flies so lightly
Oh talk to me, oh lead me
Oh kiss me baby tonight

Lalalalalala Lalalalalala Lalalalalala
I’m good I’m hot I’m fresh I’m fly
(Come baby, kiss baby)
Lalalalalala Lalalalalala Lalalalalala
(The pretty girls are here, oh baby come on~)
I’m good I’m hot I’m fresh I’m fly
(Come on over boy)

The lyrics are indeed about a loving and flirting scenario. Although specifically in this case the main character is a “girl” (“lady” is the true word if I want to be really picky), overall, it remains neutral in relation to gender; the main character could be simply described as a “lover.” Focusing on what is depicted, a lady is expressing her wishes about her love-interest. Lavishing her love-interest with flowers, hugs, kisses, and such are the main details. Unlike a lot of other stories that have a shy lover, the character in “Like a Cat” has a confident, slightly arrogant demeanor. She feels that she is “good,” “hot,” “fresh,” and “fly.” There are multiple details and different aspects that showcase how infatuated the lover is, but the amount is minimal considering most ideas are essentially repeated.

Overall, a decent love story. It remains cute and charming, and as a result, a tint of sexiness is also gleaned from that. Slightly above average for the lyrics. Extra details would easily bump it up to a 7, but as of now, a 6 will be the score. Nevertheless, it is a sweeter story; after all, assuming you have no allergies with flowers, who would not love such a gift?

Now for the “nitpicking” in terms of picking out some intriguing parts of the lyrics, I find the post-chorus’ terms slightly strange. And before going any further, this will not affect the score unless if it is exponentially significant. Addressing, “I’m good I’m hot I’m fresh I’m fly,” while it adds a lot of energy and upbeatness for the song, in terms of breaking down the meaning, it holds as very absurd. Perhaps I am pulling the “I-am-Choa-so-I-don’t-know-slang” card, but I find the diction used for that line questionable. As some readers may know by now, the term “hot,” in my personal list, is very basic and not worth utilizing as an adjective towards describing a person’s physical, intelligent, and personality beauty. Unless if temperature is the subject, “hot” can be replaced by a plethora of other meaningful, vastly more significant words. For the other terms, “fresh” and “fly” are equally absurd, but considering how those are slang words that are probably related to “cool” and whatnot, it will be forgiven. I will cut it off here. Although I am positive that other lines are worth breaking apart, for the sake of keeping the review running, I will progress to the next part.    

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Choreography Score: 6/10 – Quick note, as of the time I typed this sentence, FNC Entertainment did release their official dance practice videos (full version, eye contact, and for dancers, a .8x speed video to make it easier to learn). There is one issue, however: Mina is nowhere to be seen. From what I know, she is busy with filming a drama, hence why she is absent. In the end, it turns out the linked performance will be what I recommend just for the purpose of seeing the full group.

Digressing aside, the dance for “Like a Cat” does hold as lacking. Even though I am probably still scarred from Hello Venus’ “Sticky Sticky” dance relieved to see that the dance was not overly sexualized, it does, unfortunately, remain somewhat mediocre. Syncing was shockingly a large issue; the verse is one example of how the music and dance maneuvers were disconnected. During that section, although the motions were emulating the song’s flow and pacing, it was inconsistent and the only clear, unequivocal moves that synced properly were at the very end of Seolhyun and Choa’s singing. Other sections were also guilty of not matching up to the song. The only sections that were flawlessly synced were the post-choruses and rap; for the post-choruses, every beat was related to a “hip” snap, and for the rap, the flow was matched. Paying attention to the key points (repeated movesets), none were too appealing. A vast majority of the choreography focused on emulating a cat’s movement, but that sadly proved to be either poorly synced or simply dull. Even sections without mimicking a cat, such as the post-chorus, were equally loathing.

A choreography does not need to be utterly complex, and in fact, simplicity is sometimes very effective (T-ARA’s “Number 9” is a solid example), but without properly syncing and having unique maneuvers or positions, the simplicity concept completely backfires, such as in this case. Although it hurts to give a lower-end score for a section that heavily impacts the overall rating, I will grade fairly assuming I forget about Choa and give a 6 for slightly above average. “Like a Cat” has a simple choreography that contains potential, but unluckily, AOA does not manage to execute a completely infatuating dance. Nevertheless, there are still some adequate moments despite how poorly synced and unappealing the key points were. Due to that, the score is not hitting the bottom of the scale.

Now, to add a small tangent on the sexual part of the dance: the “hip” snapping part. In all honesty, everyone knows it is a butt-orientated part versus the current label of a “hip” dance. To say the least, it is interesting and I hold multiple positions regarding it. What I can appreciate is how subtle it is in comparison to a lot of other songs (or maybe I am still simply traumatized by my previous review). Although sexual-orientated parts prove to be obstructive at times due to deconstructing maneuvers to very plain, basic motions, in this case, due to proper syncing and the lack of emphasis/exaggeration, that theme was not too hindering. Nevertheless, sexual or not, the post-chorus’ dance was still very stale. On a different topic, regarding AOA’s choreographies in general, while most of them have explicit or implicit sexual concepts, they tend to be properly executed; nothing is grotesque in terms of being vastly inappropriate or overly emphasized. Remaining mature and retaining maneuvers that relate to the music itself is what AOA does well for the realm of sexy-themed choreographies.

Anyways, as stated ages ago, 6 will be the score.    

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Overall Score: 7/10 (6.5/10 raw score) – At the end, AOA’s “Like a Cat” finishes with a 7/10, and that represents above average, and I do agree with that value. If we are being keen towards the raw scores, however, I am slightly concerned that the Song Score did finish with a 6.6; that is threateningly low. The weaker Line Distribution Score and Meaning Score might have been the reasons.

Anyhow, although statistically the song is not too strong, biasedly, I find it a very catchy song. If I were to review this song via “feelings” versus logic like how I used to long ago in the past, I would have given this an 8. Realistically, of course, we can see certain flaws throughout the song, and that it truly is not the best. Nevertheless, it is above average and I still highly recommend AOA. I have been watching a lot of their interviews and whatnot. I will claim they are a rising group, and it is well deserved. These ladies have worked very hard to get to where they currently are at. Lots of respect towards them. That also reminds me, although I did not link the music video, in comparison to a lot of other ones (or once again, I might still be mentally scarred), it is well done with retaining AOA’s usual sexual-themes without going overboard (but nonetheless, it is very sexualized at certain moments). Besides, it is the first music video I saw with a small plot occurring. Anyways, I personally will be keeping track of AOA’s future releases and such. They have won my heart through their humor, wit, intelligence, and very respectable dedication, and they have won my ears with decent songs (although in honesty, most of their songs are “above average” or even just “slightly above average” if I were to review them).

As I always say and do, thank you very much for reading this review. I hope I did the song justice. I considered being hasty and quickly finishing this review, but I went against that and went my usual pacing. Nevertheless, I apologize deeply for not posting anything for 8 days. As I mentioned with an update post, I have been very busy with school work, so I’m allocating more times toward that. I will be making a strong return during Thanksgiving break; I plan to do a song per day during my time off. While I am skeptical on that, please look forward to it. Thanks for your patience and time, I appreciate it so, so much.

In terms of upcoming reviews, for some reason, during periods where I have multiple songs in mind, I end up being very time restricted. Lots of ballad songs are in mind, but there are also a lot of regular K-Pop songs as well. In order to keep things diverse, I will probably review a male group. But, if I may add my personal belief or at least my experience, males already have enough attention; society is male-orientated and dominated enough. And for those who will get defensive, I am not offending males; I am stating that society is simply structured towards males’ perspective. Point is, if my next review does happen to be another female artist, readers should not overreact and claim I am not being “fair” and such.

Now with that said, I have both male and female artists in mind to review. I will probably do a rushed review for one song I consider mediocre, and then return with a more detailed review on another song. In fact, I think I may review a song with a different language other than Korean; Girls’ Generation did release a Japanese ballad a while back, and I will say, it is indescribably beautiful. To go off topic, music holds a very interesting position in relation to culture and whatnot. Despite how Japanese sounds very foreign to me (and note, unlike a vast majority of newbies exposed to songs with different languages, I said “foreign” and not “weird/strange” or, forbid, “wrong”), I can still heavily appreciate the music and vocals. And, uniquely, the emotional vibe is still felt despite having a language barrier. I am sure a lot of K-Pop enthusiasts can relate; even for those who don’t understand Korean at all, let alone the culture and such, it is impossible to deny that some songs do sound amazing despite sounding foreign.

Back on track, I plan to either review Girls’ Generation’s “Divine” (the J-Ballad) or GOT7’s “Girls Girls Girls” (faster review) for my next one. Even then, I have 5 other songs in mind as well. That reminds me, Hyorin from Sistar did make a solo comeback, so I might review her recent ballad. But, keep in mind I am already drowning in work, so look forward to it, but do not put in too much anticipation. Overall, it will remain a surprise for what my next review is. I have an itch to review a ballad song. With winter coming and all, ballads are always soothing.

I have said too much for this review, so I believe this is a proper place to end it. Once again, thank you very much for the wait. I sincerely appreciate your patience, and I will do my best to repay that with a barrage of reviews coming out during my own break. If it was possible, I would be “Picking a rose” and I would “give it to you.” Thanks for reading, stay tuned for future reviews and for other fun posts as well.  

Hello Venus – “Sticky Sticky” Review

Hello Venus – Sticky Sticky (Live Performance)

Hello Venus – Sticky Sticky

Reviewed on November 13, 2014

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Personal Message: As promised, I will be covering Hello Venus’ recent comeback song, “Sticky Sticky”. I am actually reviewing this without having a proper video link, but by the time this review is finished, I am sure a high-quality live performance video will be published. Currently in terms of when I wrote this Personal Message section, every live performance video was either blurry visually, or in the audio department, very difficult to hear. Given a few more days, a proper link should be attached in this review. Now if their label company is feeling awfully generous, we may be bathed in luxury by having a dance practice video. Chances of that, however, is probably as low as an abyss.

Focusing on what really matters, I will give my personal opinion and insight on Hello Venus’ complete revamp. The most obvious change would be the lost of two ladies; Yoonjo and YooAra left during the summer if I recall correctly. Diving into the technicalities of what exactly happened, in honesty, I am not fully sure. But for those who are very curious, their original label company had a split. Unfortunately, due to that, YooAra and Yoonjo were under another label company than the other members (again, I might be completely wrong, but I remember something along the line of this), and as a result, they weren’t able to stay in Hello Venus. That said, considering how Hello Venus was very unpopular and hardly recognized, I expected the lost of the two valuable members to be the catalyst for disbanding. Fast forward a few months, I have been proven wrong; Hello Venus is still active.

Now that the roster change is clarified, although I am not familiar with this group at all, if my brain is properly functioning, in their previous song of “Do You Want Some Tea?” (check out my newbie review of it), YooAra was a solid vocalist. Losing her probably affected a lot of their vocal capabilities. Their two new members are Seoyoung and Yeoreum, and, from a single perspective of “Sticky Sticky”, neither of them have promising vocals. Then again, not a single member was able to show off impressive vocals for this song. I will simply cut it off here. The real review will begin below.

The final aspect of their changes to discuss, which I’m sure readers are quite curious on, is their concept: cute to sexy. Personally, I did not expect nor desire this; their original cute concept was what made them very unique. Perhaps I am just still in morbid shock; after all, if Apink swapped over to a sexy concept, I am positive that fans would be clutching at their hearts. Anyhow, it will be interesting to observe Hello Venus in the long run. They were not the first group to abandon a cute, lighter concept. Girl’s Day is a prominent group that comes to mind. They started off as adorable, but then transitioned over to give off a stronger, sexier image. In Girl’s Day’s case, that switch was what allowed them to be at their current popularity. Will it work for Hello Venus? In my opinion, no. From my observations, the biggest, most influential factor that Girl’s Day gleaned from switching over to a sexy concept were their vocals; they sounded like the incredible ladies they are versus their original, childish singing style. Sadly, in Hello Venus’ case, the opposite happened: they sound worse. “Do You Want Some Tea?” showcased solid vocals despite being on the cute style. For their comeback, “sexy” vocals are not heard at all. Arguably, I will claim their cute concept’s vocals were vastly “sexier”; they were genuinely decent.

Anyhow, I have went on for long enough on that subject. In short, I am hoping Hello Venus goes back to their original concept, or at least, to alternate the two concepts of cute or sexy, or another solution, to do a combination such as with Girl’s Day’s “Darling”. As of now, Hello Venus’ current concept is overwhelming different. I may just be purely biased right now, however. That might be the case since I watched the music video (I rarely watch the MVs of K-Pop songs; live performances and/or dance practices are what I watch) and expected their original concept. As a result, I was completely caught off guard and disturbed by how sexual it was. To share a tangent, “implicit” sexy concepts are my preferred concepts for the sexy category (and for those wondering what is my favorite concept in general, I am not bound to one; biasedly, T-ARA and Nine Muses’ general songs/choreographies are ones I’ve found appealing). For example, the choreographies of Nine Muses are bold, confident, powerful, but they possess sexiness disguised in the form of remaining mature and respectable. In the scenario of Hello Venus’ “Sticky Sticky”, the choreography is heavily focused on blatant sexual dance moves. Their label company should have stuck with the original style, but they must have had some deliberate purposes for this change (and actually, a discussion about which concepts are most appealing/profitable would be interesting).

I have digressed for way too long, and in fact, this review might hold the record of the longest Personal Message section yet. Anyhow, Hello Venus’ recent comeback song is “Sticky Sticky”. As stated earlier, the ladies are swapping over to a sexy concept. Despite losing two members during the summer, they have rebounded with the addition of two new teammates. Although it is admirable to see them persevere, their latest song leaves them in a “Sticky Sticky” situation; it does not compete with their previous song.

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Song Total Score: 5/10 (5.4/10 raw score) – Average score of the sub-categories

– Vocals: 5/10 – Considering Hello Venus was given an 8 before for their vocals, seeing a 5 here is absurd. The style of this song may be the one to blame.

“Sticky Sticky” showcases average vocals. The singing holds as weak and exceptionally stale. The melody provided was simplistic; a spectrum of notes did not exist. Even during the bridge section, the higher pitches were not too appealing. In terms of being stale, the style thwarts the vocals from being diverse. Strangely, for this song, the ladies had to sing in a raspier voice. Due to this, a lot of the melody becomes clogged down and restricted. (As a disclaimer, as I mentioned before in my review of “Red” by Hyuna, I am judging voices from a musical aspect; every voice is indeed unique, charming, and beautiful. There is nothing wrong with having a raspy voice at all. Every voice should be well respected.)

Average vocals for this song. Hello Venus in the past have shown competent vocal capabilities, but in this song, the style of raspiness and the lack of diverse pitches lead to an exceptionally stale song from a vocals perspective. It’s pitiful that “sexy” vocals mean the ladies have to hinder their own voices to suit the theme. What would have been “sexy” would be their normal singing voices. They have proven to have stunning vocals, but for this song, that is not showcased.

– Song Structure: 5/10 (5/10 raw score)

The song goes in this structure and order:

Introduction, Post-Chorus, Verse, Pre-Chorus, Chorus, Post-Chorus, Verse, Pre-Chorus, Chorus, Post-Chorus, Bridge, Conclusion (Post-Chorus)

1. Introduction: 5/10 – This introduction is what I personally call a “trademark” introduction. This is due to the song producer, Brave Brothers, always leaving his signature (and actually, one day I may give a brief discussion regarding K-Pop songs and the main song producers). Anyhow, a male voice introduces the group and the producer. Throughout the voiceover, Hello Venus adds “Hello” in a raspy tone.

This introduction leans towards the mediocre side, but considering how efficiently it sets up the song, it holds as adequate. The vocals’ style is instantly established and the slower paced instrumental is set. Furthermore, this section remains compact; nothing excessive.

Overall, an average section. Quickly setting up the sexier theme and delivering the vocal and instrumental styles was properly done. What does remain lacking is how plain and dull it is. A “trademark” concept without any other aspect to support it holds as pure narration. Sadly, such was the case here. Although Hello Venus did add their “Hello” lines, they were simply adding a background narrating voice. A current example of a stronger trademark introduction would be AOA’s “Like a Cat” (next review in line). AOA has a trademark introduction for all of their song’s beginning, but due to either actually singing or having twists and a variety of melody and words, they manage to pull it in a stunningly appealing manner. Anyhow, on track with “Sticky Sticky”, the introduction is rated as average.    

2. Post-Chorus: 4/10 – Considering how the post-chorus is instantly used when, as the name states, it should be found after a chorus, this section may seem absurd in terms of the order. Nevertheless, despite all odds, the timing is acceptable. All of the ladies sing for the post-choruses.

The post-choruses involve a melodic repetition of “Oh”. Unfortunately, there is nothing else to add onto that.

Repetition and staleness are huge issues for the post-choruses. There is no diversity in terms of the words used (it was only one word), and the melody, despite being withered down due to the raspy vocals, is endlessly looped. These aspects are perfect bait for luring out tedious sections. The only benefit regarding this section would be how it does hold as slightly catchy, but taking into account of how there is little complexity involved, that brings the post-choruses to a “Sticky” situation.

Overall, below average. This section is simply too repetitive. If the vocals were more impressive or the section’s length was shortened, then perhaps it would be slightly stronger. As of now, however, staleness is a large issue. One of the most stagnant sections I’ve heard in a song.

3. Verse: 5/10 – Yooyoung and Alice handle the first verse, and as typical, I will focus on the first verse for critiquing.

Yooyoung arrives with a slower pacing to accommodate the instrumental’s rate. The vocals retain the expected raspiness. Towards her last line, she does add some emphasis at the last word “geol” for a smooth transition to Alice. Once she takes over, she replicates Yooyoung’s style. There is a difference, however, towards the middle of her part. Her words of “tteugeoun nungire” have extra power going towards them. After that, Alice concludes her last line.

From a vocal standpoint, it holds as mediocre. There was minimal melodic flow for the singing; staleness becomes derived from such. In terms of the emphasized parts, they slightly alleviate the dullness, but not by much considering the amplifications were still vocally lacking. The only strength that emerges from this section is the proper chemistry between vocals and instrumental. Both sides were identically paced.

Overall, an average section. Should the emphasized parts not have existed, this would be leaning towards the negative scoring scale (less than 5). Thankfully, with some minimal differences in the flow due to emphasis, a penalty won’t occur. Nevertheless, the section is bereft of anything solid. The vocals are mediocre, the instrumental provides solely a foundation, and the melody, despite the emphasized words, is still equally plain.

4. Pre-Chorus: 5/10 – Nara handles the first pre-chorus by herself. For this song, the pre-choruses are rather shorter. That is not an issue; the pre-choruses fulfill their roles.

Upon transitioning to this section, the instrumental makes a subtle increase in energy. It becomes slightly faster. Nara’s part involves reaching for the higher pitches. At the very end, she manages to hit a high note for transitioning the song to the chorus.

For the most part, the pre-chorus does the standard role. It escalates the song’s intensity in preparation for the chorus. Focusing on the singing, while Nara’s range is respectable, once again, the raspiness impairs vocal abilities. The ending could have been vastly stronger if the “sexy” themed singing was decimated. Due to the raspier style, the high noted ending sounded as if she was lacking breath. In a song, it is almost imperative to always show sustained vocals, not faltering and languishing ones (although in different situations, this wouldn’t hold as true).

Another average section in “Sticky Sticky”. The vocal skill is partially witnessed via high notes, but the style of delivering the lines is not solid. Simply put, this section did its standard job of bringing the song’s intensity up for the chorus. Anything else, however, remains out of the picture.

5. Chorus: 5/10 – So far, as readers can tell, this song is coming off as purely average. Will the chorus follow suit? Perhaps. Alice and Seoyoung team up for the first chorus.

Alice begins the chorus with decently powered vocals. Her lines become slightly more dynamic by being sliced up into bits. During the ending parts of “…hage” and “…lae”, there are small pauses after each part. Seoyoung’s part emulates her member exactly. After both ladies finish, the song transitions into the post-chorus.

If it has not yet been clear, this song is quite average. As anticipated, another average section. The pacing here provides some fluctuating lines. That allows for diversity and prevents some staleness. Vocally, though, both ladies were limited by the raspy, weaker tone. “…hage” is an example of how the raspiness constricted their vocal range. Additionally, with how the instrumental became slightly more upbeat, seeing the vocals reciprocating that would have been desired. The chorus in “Sticky Sticky” leaves room for improvement.

6. Bridge: 6/10 – Three members are responsible for the bridge. Seoyoung, Nara, and Alice are the ones in specific.

Coming off with decent power, Seoyoung initiates the bridge with “I’m in love”. She adds one more line before Nara tags in. In contrast to the power, Nara gives a slower, quieter tone. Following that up is Alice who, in coordination with Seoyoung, hits a higher pitched and strong note hold. Once all the dust clears, the song proceeds with the post-chorus/conclusion.

Personally, I have mixed feelings about this bridge. Although the ladies kept their raspiness style, they were, against all odds, able to show off an energetic, melodic, and impactful bridge. The note hold at the very end was well executed in both categories of power and coordination (Seoyoung joined in). What prevents me from confidently giving a high score is due to peering at the song as a whole. I expected a relatively dull calm bridge. The song in general was rather mellow and quieter, and therefore, any bridge with a climax occurring in the form of a powerful note hold would be unexpected and unsuitable. Sadly, “Sticky Sticky” uses the climactic bridge concept.

Overall, slightly above average. The bridge itself was well done. Vocals were diverse despite the rife raspy style, and the note hold was impressive. What holds the bridge back is the approach of it; impacting and powerful. Having a calmer bridge would have suited the song as a whole. The section is mechanically well done, but systematically at fault.

7. Conclusion (Post-Chorus): 5/10 – Similar to the bridge, this section contrasts the other pieces harshly. Head-on power in the form of the post-chorus occurs for the conclusion. All of the ladies chip in.

The post-chorus plays out as usual. However, this time different members throw in high notes and perform two-part singing.

Since the post-choruses were exceptionally bleak, considering how the conclusion takes away such via two-part singing, a solid ending should be expected. That is not the result. Similarly to the bridge, this conclusion was overdone; the two-part singing and explosive vocals were too potent. A calmer end should have been done.

Overall, an average section. The vocal skills were respectable, but this style either should have been included near the start, or, if left out, remain out. This conclusion fails to fit the established trends and it fails to bring the song to a smooth end.  

– Line Distribution: 6/10 – There are 6 members in Hello Venus, so a high score should be expected.

Alice has a part at the first verse, she appears at the choruses, and returns at the bridge. Plenty of time was given to her.

Nara handled the first pre-chorus and appears at the bridge. Slightly lacking considering both moments were very short in duration.

Lime is heard at the second half of the second verse. One part for her, so not too impressive. More time could have been given.

Seoyoung had sufficient lines. She appears at the choruses and bridge. No issues.

Yooyoung is witnessed at the verses. The first halves of the verses belong to her. An ample amount of time was given.

Yeoreum possessed solely one pre-chorus. Considering how short the pre-choruses were, not much time was given.

Lastly, the final thing to account for is all the ladies sing during the post-choruses.

The main issues in the share of lines for “Sticky Sticky” is predominately with Yeoreum, but other members such as Lime and Nara were also lacking. Even with all the members singing the post-chorus, more time could have been allocated towards three of the members. Slightly above average, but nevertheless, slightly disappointing.  

– Instrumental: 6/10 – The instrumental in “Sticky Sticky” works as a foundation; it remains subtle and a part of the background, but it fulfills its job of supporting the vocals. During moments where the intensity was higher, the instrumental followed suit. Individually, the soundtrack is a slower paced and calmer orientated type. The beats are consistent and provide decent rhythm. Other sounds hold as decent.

Overall, slightly above average. It meshes well with Hello Venus’ singing, and individually, it remains as a soothing soundtrack. Nothing too spectacular, but it can be regarded as sufficient.

– Meaning: 5/10 – “Sticky Sticky”; an interesting title. I am expecting a love-related story that isn’t necessarily cheerful, but rather, a “Sticky Sticky” situation such as a fight. And no, for my fellow readers that follow me from my E-Sports activities, this song is not praising the Demoman’s beloved weapon (and for those completely lost, just nod your head and ignore this). Putting aside my inhumanely awful joke/pun, let’s take a look at the story from these translated lyrics. It is not 100% accurate, but here are the Korean-to-English translated lines:

(Hello) It’s a new beginning
(Hello) Brave Sound and Hello Venus
(Hello) Now we together, let’s go

Oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh

I’m so full of charm
Am I really sexy?
Just by giving you a look,
you get so happy
You can’t take your eyes off me
Your hot stares at me
make my heart pound, too

Hold my hands, hum along
and whisper love to me, oh baby

Sticky sticky, risky risky
I wanna hug you, I wanna have you next to me tonight
Sticky sticky, electric electric
Wanna come to me? You’re it, catch me tonight

Oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh

Make me lose my breath
Make me dizzy because of you
My cheeks are red
Your naughty hands are so busy
Your sweet words
are like chocolate
My heart is like melted candy
In your hands, sticky sticky

Hold my hands, hum along
and whisper love to me, oh baby

Sticky sticky, risky risky
I wanna hug you, I wanna have you next to me tonight
Sticky sticky, electric electric
Wanna come to me? You’re it, catch me tonight

Oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh

I’m in love, I’ve fallen deep
into your heart, can’t escape
Hold me tight, sweetly tell me
Make it sticky,
our own tonight

Oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh

In reality, my predictions were completely off; the sheer opposite happened. “Sticky Sticky” describes a flirtatious love-related story. A lady or gentleman is in a situation where, as the title says, they are heavily attached to their partner in both a physical and an emotional level. Through physical contact such as holding hands or hugging, the couple is “Sticky Sticky”, but with being in love with one another, they are also glued together via feelings.

In the end, an intimate, passionate love story is unveiled. While the story itself is interesting and slightly different than others, details remain lacking. The verses are mainly the sections that give details. Everything else is a repeat of the same idea of “Sticky Sticky”. Average lyrics. If more details were added, a higher score would have been given.  

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Choreography Score: 5/10 – To be straightforward, the choreography of “Sticky Sticky” is, as every other section in this song has proven to practically be, average.

Syncing with the song was consistent, but there were numerous moments where a connection between movements and the song was lost. Examples include the verses. In terms of the key points, they were not impressive. Every section recycled the same dance sets, and in focus of every set, they were mediocre. Ignoring the sexual aspect of the dance (which will be discussed in a few more lines), the dance maneuvers remained extremely simplistic. The post-chorus’ dance section was equally plain as the musical section itself. The only benefit of the dance would be how it reflects the song’s slower pacing.

Now as stated earlier, time to address the sexually-orientated dance.  It is one thing to have a section overly sexualized, but it is another issue when that typically involves whittling down the dance to simply moving or (forbid) groping a body part. Blatant sexual dances are not only disturbing, but it simply notches the choreography’s complexity down by a significant degree. To use a current song as an opposite, AOA’s “Like a Cat” is a solid example of a sexy-theme while remaining subtle. Hello Venus’ “Sticky Sticky” becomes hindered by their sexually explicit dance sections. To clarify, most of the time (sexualization in media will be saved for another time), and that is a questionable frequency term, sexy-themed concepts in K-Pop songs are not instantly bad; the largest indicator is explicit versus implicit. Nine Muses, for example, has been known to lean towards the sexier side, but it has never been outrageously disturbing (but I’ll be honest, “Wild” was overwhelming at first due to the MV) since their choreography and song are limited by being very subtle and passive.

Anyhow, point is, a sexy-theme doesn’t immediately corrupt a song’s or choreography’s rating unless if it is poorly executed. What ruins the concept is when it is overly exaggerated or explicitly done. And lastly, for fans who are indeed clutching at their aching hearts for Hello Venus’ concept change, these ladies are simply cooperating with their label company. I am positive that the members of Hello Venus are, in fact, genuinely sexy ladies; like many idols, they are extremely hard working, talented, intelligent, and persevering. Sounds sexy enough.

To bring this all the way back to the choreography, it holds as average. The dance’s key points are weak, and certain parts are impaired due to a poorly executed sexually-orientated part.

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Overall Score: 5/10 (5/10 raw score) – Both the Song Total Score and Choreography Score are rated at a 5, thus, the Overall Score will follow as such. This leaves Hello Venus’ comeback at a rating of average, which I do reside with. The song itself is average and similarly is the choreography.

Perhaps in the future Hello Venus will release a hit, but as of now, their song holds as mediocre. Nevertheless, I am glad the group is still active. Rebounding from a roster disaster is very admirable.

As I always do, thank you for reading this. Apologies for being rather slow with this review. I did slightly rush this review, but hopefully it still remains cohesive enough. Thank you very much, though, for sticking around and reading. It means a lot.

For my next review, AOA’s recent comeback of “Like a Cat” has caught my attention, so that will be reviewed shortly. Their other songs have been notable, but nothing was too outstanding. “Like a Cat”, however, has definitely captured my ears. Anyhow, I appreciate how they have an “AOA” style to their songs and that they’ve stuck with the same concept throughout their entire career. They’re a group that’s rapidly gaining popularity, and considering they were (don’t hurt me) underdogs, it’s really pleasing to witness that. More will be discussed about this if I remember on their review.

I am currently bundled down with work, so reviews are not a priority. School before anything else, but I will do my best to keep up. The end has arrived. Thank you for all the support; “Your sweet words are like chocolate”. Keep checking back for a review on AOA’s “Like a Cat”.

Girls’ Generation – “I Got A Boy” Review

Girls’ Generation – I Got A Boy (Live Performance)

Girls’ Generation – I Got A Boy (short/live vers.)

Reviewed on November 8, 2014

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Personal Message: There are so many things to address/share before this review. To begin, this will be the first review of November 2014. Let’s keep things rolling well, and, through work, improving. Something to address quickly, this review will be based on the live performance linked above; this version is significantly shorter (30 – 40 seconds?). What is lost is a bridge section in addition to shorter transitions (I think). I am keeping it this way to prevent readers from becoming confused with the performance audio and the official audio. Overall, though, it’s practically identical.

Anyhow, why am I digging all the way back to 2013 for this song? Originally, VIXX’s “Error” was going to be reviewed, but then I saw that they did a dance cover of Girls’ Generation “I Got A Boy”. As a result, it made me look over this song once more, and considering this song won YouTube’s Music Award (right?), I took an even closer look and decided to review it.

For a short story, I remember vividly this era of Girls’ Generation. It was a huge sensation and hit (side note, it’d be so much fun to analyze and figure out why it was so popular, etc.). People from all over loved the song, concept, and style. Personally, when it came to the song itself, my initial take was “What is this thing?” Now of course, “thing” might’ve been said differently, but I was quite repelled by the song. Silly joke aside, it still remains as one of the most disorganized songs I’ve listened to, even after coming back to it after many months.

One last story I have to share, though, is how a recent “discussion” about Girls’ Generation and this song led to me being called a “woman-loving feminist”. Now if this person told me that in a cheerful, friendly way, it’d be a different story. However, her style of delivering that was in a muttered, menacing tone. Quickly summing up the discussion, I mentioned how ladies should be able to happily express that they “Got A Boy” they love. Perhaps my phrasing of “men are ‘unnecessary’” was poorly worded, and thus, I got the comment stated above. I simply meant how females should not feel obligated to be with a male for the sake of just being with a male. Anyhow, what irritated me the most was how feminist was said with such a negative connotation when that should not be the case. Believing both genders are equal shouldn’t be anything close to bad. But, to each their own opinion; after all, this is the same friend that gave me trouble for watching “The TaeTiSeo” (check out my review on that show). And as a disclaimer, in no way am I trying to put my friend down; she just has different perspectives than me, and I fully accept and understand that.

Back on track with this song, as mentioned, Girls’ Generation was extremely popular during this time. Perhaps it was due to this song’s uniqueness, the chic styles, or most likely, a combination of the two. While this song comes off as a mixture of hip-hop, regular pop, funkiness, and full of fun, it still remains very disorganized. I haven’t even started organizing the different song structures, but I feel quite intimidated.

Even with my own personal dislike towards this song, I won’t let that hinder me from reviewing it fairly. After all, the intelligent, tough, and hard working ladies of Girls’ Generation were very prominent during this time. A reason must exist for that. Enough said, “Let me introduce myself, here comes trouble” in the form of Girls’ Generation’s “I Got A Boy”          

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Song Total Score: 6/10 (6/10 raw score) – Average score of the sub-categories

– Vocals: 7/10 – Knowing it’s Girls’ Generation, a 9 would be expected. Unfortunately, for this song, that is not quite the case. For moments where there was individual singing, the vocals were decent. What doesn’t remain too solid is their chanting; moments during the chorus and pre-choruses. While those sections had catchy, energetic vocals, nothing vocally stunning was shown at all. Peering back at individual parts, when a single member would sing her own lines and part, it would remain sufficient; not too strong but nothing to look over. Adding a fun mood is the benefit of their vocals in this song.

Overall, for “I Got A Boy”, vocally intensive lines were nonexistent. Nevertheless, the vocals were very catchy and upbeat. The choruses and pre-choruses showcase vocals that capture attention, but in terms of moments that unveil high vocal skills, there were little to none. Above average for vocals. Although this song in specific lacks their standard score, Girls’ Generation has proven that they can be very adept singers; examples include “Mr. Mr.” and with their sub-unit group, TaeTiSeo.

– Song Structure: 6/10 (6.14/10 raw score)

The song goes in this structure and order:

Introduction, Pre-Chorus, Verse, Pre-Chorus, Chorus, Verse, Rap, Pre-Chorus, Verse, Pre-Chorus, Bridge, Chorus, Conclusion (Chorus)

1. Introduction: 9/10 – Personally, this may be one of my favorite introductions. Ignoring my bias, however, it would still hold as a fantastic introduction. Sooyoung, Yuri, and Tiffany handle the introduction.

The song starts off with Sooyoung yelling out, “Ayo, Sooyoung!” After that, a few lines are sung/spoken (depending on if you consider that singing). Eventually, Yuri takes over and replicates Sooyoung’s style. Once Yuri’s part closes, Tiffany takes over. The instrumental also shifts to a lighter, energetic and upbeat version. Tiffany’s lines include confident and fun words. A smooth transition is created from such. One last thing to add is during certain words, such as “eo-meo” and “wae geuraetdae?”, all the ladies chip in for emphasis.

In terms of the introduction’s role, the start of the song should capture the attention of listeners. In addition, it should allow listeners to anticipate what is to come. For “I Got A Boy”, all of those parameters are set; the dialogue style at the beginning lures people in, and the energetic vocals and instrumental set up the song. To go into detail, Sooyoung and Yuri’s part was a short story/dialogue (the Meaning Score section will cover it). Musically, their lines were on the plain, calmer side. Nevertheless, for certain words such as “eo-meo”, the other members would say it along with either Sooyoung or Yuri. This creates some diversity for their flow along with highlighting the lyrics’ meaning. When Tiffany arrives, her part elevates the song’s energy. Her lines leave a lasting impression. Furthermore, by having both the vocals and instrumental shift together, the transition becomes very fluid.

Overall, a very loveable section. Considering how the song as a whole isn’t too solid, an introduction as this is rather surprising. The dialogue at the start captures attention and the emphasized words add to the flow. Lastly, the transition to the next section was exceptionally well done; Tiffany and the accompanying instrumental swapped over to an energetic style without coming off as harsh. A very high score will be given here.

2. Pre-Chorus: 5/10 – For this part, all the members of Girls’ Generation sing. There are a few solo lines; one lady of the group sings during those moments. Before going any further, there are two “versions” of the pre-choruses: slow version and fast version. Since I’m feeling lazy it would be less confusing and troublesome, I will be grading the pre-chorus as an average. If I were to be specific, the fast version would be a 4/10, and the slow version would be a 6/10.

Peering at the slow version first due to order, it remains quite solid. As stated, all of the members sing and then one member would have a solo line. Focusing on the first pre-chorus, the ladies are chanting to a catchy and powerful melody. Although their chant is using a simple “Oh” and “Yeah”, this creates proper syncing between the vocals and the instrumental’s heavier beats. Jessica, in the case of the first pre-chorus, finishes the section with an adequate and satisfying line. Overall, for the slow version, due to phenomenal synergy between the vocals and instrumental, the section as a whole becomes augmented. The words used may be very basic, but hearing the perfect connection between the heavier instrumental and equally impactful words allows this version to thrive.

Unfortunately, when the fast version occurs (pre-choruses after the rap), the previous pleasing style disappears. Instead, the instrumental downgrades and the vocals attempt to emulate the lighter melody. Connections between the soundtrack and singing are gone. With the instrumental being quite fast-paced, Girls’ Generation struggled to keep up; the vastly lighter style that emanated from the instrumental did not mesh well with the ladies’ singing.

Combining everything together, average remains as the score. The slower versions showcased exciting and powerful moments, but the faster version did the complete opposite; weak and little to no chemistry between the vocals and soundtrack. On the positive side, at least listeners will hear the better pre-chorus version at first. Nevertheless, it is disappointing to see a pre-chorus degrade during a song.

3. Verse: 5/10 – As keen readers may notice, this song does seem disorganized. The pre-choruses have two versions, and likewise, the verses have multiple versions as well. Thankfully, the two versions aren’t too drastically different, but nonetheless are homogenous to the pre-choruses with the terms of “fast version” and “slow version”. If those terms become too confusing/boring, quoting a friend, the first verse is the “badass version”, and the remaining two are the “cute versions” according to her.

Putting humor aside, regardless of the versions, they all come out as average. I won’t be able to use a verse in detail/as an example since they all differ, so I will generalize. For all the verses, the singing executed was neither adept or inept. In terms of the instrumental, both the slow version with its heavy beats and the electronic fast version were average. Unlike some previous sections, there was little to no connection between vocals and instrumental. Everything for the verses come out as plain; nothing terrible but also not astounding. Now, if there were bonus points for being adorable, Seohyun and Tiffany would’ve earned a few, but realistically and looking at what truly matters for judging, Girls’ Generation manages to snatch only 5. (Short tangent, judging realistically should always be in mind, not how “cute” or whatever a lady/gentleman is)

4. Chorus: 4/10 – The chorus of “I Got A Boy” is, as expected from the song title, the key phrase of “I got a boy”. To be blunt, this category spells below average explicitly: B-E-L-O, shall I end this pathetic joke? All of the ladies sing during a chorus for the entirety of it.

The choruses consist of repeating lines of “I got a boy” followed by a few adjectives that are either in English or Korean. There are 6 phrases of “I got a boy…” assuming I counted correctly. Firstly, repetition becomes a huge issue; “I got a boy” times 6 becomes quite stale. Should the lyrics not be tedious enough, the instrumental ensures that the chorus is. The soundtrack itself is an obnoxious electronic sound that zips back and forth. Vocally, since all the members are chanting, the melody becomes muddled down moreover to power and chanting versus actual singing.

In summary, below average for a section. The instrumental was mediocre, melodic and delightful vocals weren’t showcased, and the flow was utterly mundane. Remaining somewhat catchy is the only strength of the choruses.

5. Rap: 9/10 – Digressing for a moment, I feel ashamed that I even considered myself a fan of Girls’ Generation; I had no idea that Yoona and Hyoyeon (or any member at all) were capable of rapping. Anyhow, I came to an extremely welcoming realization thanks to “I Got A Boy”. For this rap, those two ladies handle it professionally.

Yoona kicks off the rap with words sliding off her tongue. The pacing is quick and her melody is catchy; outstanding for a rap. Hyoyeon carries the remaining of the rap after Yoona is done. There is a unique layer added to this part: dialogue. For two lines in her rap, Hyoyeon would spit out a line and Yoona would toss in a few words as a reply. After all of that, Hyoyeon finishes the section on her own. Another aspect to include is the instrumental, which still remains the same bouncing electronic sound.

A large boost to the score is the outright fact of the ladies’ speed and fluency. Words were coming out easily and the pacing was incredible; fast and accurate. Melody was not lost as it typically is during such high rates, either. Another aspect is how, despite all odds, the instrumental amplifies the pacing. Although the instrumental individually induced annoyance, the soundtrack reciprocated the rapping speed from Yoona and Hyoyeon.

Overall, one of the better raps I have heard in a song. Yoona and Hyoyeon’s rapping skills individually were stunning. On top of their amazing mechanical rapping talent, the instrumental aided the section and the flow and melody remained just as solid. A very high score is deserved here.

6. Bridge: 5/10 – A basic bridge that fills in the spot. Jessica and Seohyun tag up for this section.

Jessica initiates the bridge. During her lines, the instrumental shifts to a relaxing and softer tone. Jessica’s lines are hitting the higher pitch range. Her pacing was on the slower side and had some words stretched out (not enough to be considered note holds). Nevertheless, she remained very melodic and graceful. Later, Seohyun transitions in via adding “neo” (means you in English). Once she takes ownership of the section, Seohyun sings one line and the rest of Girls’ Generation concludes the bridge with everyone adding one final line.

While I am glad that the bridge was nothing excessive, it does remain on the bleak side. The vocals from Jessica were impressive, but the follow up from Seohyun contrasted that by being basic. Peering at the soundtrack, it stands as equally stale. Observing how this song as a whole was structured, a lackluster bridge seemed imminent; no pathway leading to a climactic moment existed. Nonetheless, even if this is a bridge that isn’t aimed towards being the climax, there aren’t any prominent aspects.

Overall, the bridge comes out as average. The singing from Jessica holds as skilled and enlightening, but the instrumental and Seohyun’s part did not provide anything further. A plain, simple, and basic bridge.

7. Conclusion (Chorus): 6/10 – As something seen from other K-Pop songs, the chorus is recycled for this song. That is seemingly concerning considering how the choruses are not too appealing, and in addition, the previous section before the conclusion/final chorus was another chorus.

All of the ladies handle the chorus, and in general, the final chorus flows as any other chorus did. The difference here, however, was two-part singing occurred; a few members sing their own separate lines to add some layers.

Perhaps the two-part singing added enough to create diversity and changes, but the conclusion is not bad at all. In fact, it’s slightly above average. The double choruses towards the end give a final climax along with the key phrase becoming ingrained into listeners. With certain members singing their own lines, the choruses no longer felt as stale. Even if the “I got a boy” phrases were repeated for a total of 12 times, due to the two-part singing, that thought did not occur whatsoever. In terms of the final moment, it was a clean cut. The soundtrack died out completely and the ladies were left standing (no pun intended) with simply finishing one line.

For this section in “I Got A Boy”, slightly above average is the score. I expected a much lower score, but since the two-part singing modified the song in an appropriate and enjoyable way, a decent score is given.

– Line Distribution: 7/10 – With nine members in Girls’ Generation, it will be challenging to have all lines equally shared among the ladies. Nevertheless, they pulled off a solid score if I recall in “Mr. Mr.”. Besides, it is possible to ace a perfect score with nine members; Nine Muses (as the name implies; also one of my favorite groups) has nine members and they manage a very equal share with lines.

On track with Girls’ Generation, for Taeyeon, her lines involved the halves of the first and second verse, and one line during a pre-chorus. No issues exist here.

Jessica had one line during a pre-chorus, two lines at the first verse, and, more generously, lots of spotlight during the bridge. Due to the bridge, it redeems the lack of lines during the other parts.

Sunny had a lengthier moment during the first verse, and in addition, she had the second half of the second verse. One more section to add is her one line during a pre-chorus. Seeing how prominent she was for the verses, she is not lacking in this song.

Tiffany had a plethora of the song’s parts. That or maybe I’m biased towards her and thus, pay more attention. In a serious tone, she appeared during the introduction, she had one transitioning line, and she had a half of the third verse. Sadly, the reality does show that she lacks a few lines, but considering how impactful her introduction was, she left enough of an impression for viewers/listeners. For the most part, no concerns are here, but more could’ve been expected.

Hyoyeon shared the incredible rap with Yoona, so her prescence was definitely felt. Besides having that excellent section, she had one line during a pre-chorus. Considering how her rap had a longer, impacting duration, Hyoyeon had a fair share.

Yuri was, unfortunately, primarily at solely the introduction. Although she did a pleasing part, it would have been desired to see her have other moments. The only other moment she sung was during a quick line at a pre-chorus. Overall, more is expected from her; slightly lacking from this song.

Sooyoung rides in the same boat as Yuri; she took the first half of the introduction, but that was mainly it. Even more homogenous to Yuri, she had one quick line during a pre-chorus. Like Yuri, more lines would have been delightful. Not too impressive in terms of the line distribution for her.

Yoona, the actress of Girls’ Generation (she has been casted in multiple dramas/movies), was, as mentioned earlier, the rapping partner with Hyoyeon. Her part involved the fluid and smooth rap, and one line during a pre-chorus. There are no issues with her share; she had an amazing rap moment.

Last, but definitely not least, Seohyun, the sweet maknae (youngest person) of Girls’ Generation, had numerous lines. She was given a lengthier moment during the first verse and second verse, and she supports Jessica during the bridge. Thanks to a longer time frame at her sections, she had a nice bit of the song. No problems.

One thing to account for is all the ladies sing/chant during the pre-choruses and choruses. This does alleviate some sharing problems, but not by too much.

Peering at everything, a 7 will hold as the score. Yuri and Sooyoung were the only ones bereft of singing time, but adding on the factors of how their introductions were powerful and lengthy, it slightly redeems them. Furthermore, with all the ladies singing during certain sections, that also helps by a minimal margin. Above average for Line Distribution; while some members lack some spotlight, for the majority of the song, it remains diverse enough with different members singing.

– Instrumental: 4/10 – Perhaps the disorganized structure stems from the instrumental. Throughout the song, there were multiple, random shifts occurring all over the place in terms of the soundtrack. It would change from heavy and slower paced beats, to a vastly faster, electronic based instrumental. The opposite also occurred; electronic sounds to the heavy beats. Since the transitions were very abrupt and seemingly random, that will impair the score. This created a lot of incohesive, confusing moments.

Looking at the soundtrack individually, it remains quite mediocre. The instrumental was either somewhat obnoxious with electronic sounds, or it was a plain beat. When it comes to meshing with vocals, surprisingly, it works well. Vocals are often time backed up by the instrumental; the energy from both parties feed off one another. The choruses were filled with a chanting style of singing, and the electronic sounds there blended in smoothly with that. Other moments, especially during the rap, also benefitted. Yoona and Hyoyeon’s rap was augmented due to a soundtrack that reflected their rapping speed.

Overall, slightly below average. The sudden swaps between the two types of instrumental (heavy beats or electronic) ruins the score. Too many disorganized moments were the results of the random transitions. Individually, the soundtrack remains quite stale. Neither “versions” of the instrumental were stunning. If it wasn’t for how well the vocals and instrumental mixed, this would be a lower score. Thankfully, the rapping moment, choruses, and more give the score a slight boost.

– Meaning: 6/10 – “I Got A Boy” would seem to be a title related to love. I am expecting a story where a lady is bragging about her partner, or perhaps, a story where she is expressing how she captivated her lover. Through these translated Korean-to-English lyrics, let’s find out the story. Not 100% accurate:

Ayo! Sooyoung! Yeah yeah, are you ready for this?
Uh-muh, look at her, look
What happened to her that she cut her hair? Huh?
Uh-muh, again look at her, look
From head to toe, her style has changed
Why did she do that? I’m curious to death,
why did she do that? Tell me
Let me introduce myself!
Here comes trouble! Follow after me

Oh oh oh yeah oh, oh oh yeah oh,
you really are something else

Who is she? Ridiculous
Do you know you’re too self-assertive?
She thinks I’m average
Yeah, I guess she really liked him
No way! No way!
She became so pretty and sexy,
it’s because of him, right?
I almost asked her
what her new makeup was
Truthfully, I’ve seen it for the first time
The deep eyes, like a scarred beast
I was dizzy by just talking to him
You really are something else
You really are something else

Oh oh oh yeah oh, oh oh yeah oh,
You really are something else
Oh oh oh yeah oh, oh oh yeah oh,
You really are something else

Ayo! Stop! Let me put it down another way

I got a boy, a handsome one, I got a boy, a kind one
I got a boy handsome boy, who took all my heart
I got a boy, a handsome one, I got a boy, a kind one
I got a boy awesome boy, I must have really fallen for him

Ah, my prince
When are you gonna come save me?
Like a white dream
Will you lift me in your arms and fly?

I’m like, surprised, mental collapse
He wants to see my face without makeup.
I really like him,
would it be okay to show it to him?
Oh! Never! Right? Right?
Let’s keep what needs to be kept right, right
Until you take all of his heart
Don’t ever forget this

Oh oh oh yeah oh, oh oh yeah oh
Even if I stay up all night, it’s not enough, everything everything
Oh oh oh yeah oh, oh oh yeah oh
Our biggest interest, everything everything

Listen to me, you all know him, right?
He’s a bit young but he’s full inside
Sometimes he is as reliable as an oppa
but when he acts charming, he is so cute

Oh oh oh yeah oh, oh oh yeah oh,
you’re crazy, crazy
Oh oh oh yeah oh, oh oh yeah oh,
you’re crazy, crazy

Always next to me, it’s you, who’s on my side
and listens to me, you- you-
I’m happy as it is right now,
‘cause everything will work

I got a boy, a handsome one, I got a boy, a kind one
I got a boy handsome boy, who took all my heart
I got a boy, a handsome one, I got a boy, a kind one
I got a boy awesome boy, I must have really fallen for him

I got a boy, a handsome one, I got a boy, a kind one
I got a boy handsome boy, who took all my heart
I got a boy, a handsome one, I got a boy, a kind one
I got a boy awesome boy, I must have really fallen for him

I got a boy, a handsome one

Firstly, I am using the lyrics from the live performance, so if these lyrics differ from the original audio (which it should), then that is why. Also, I am hoping this format will paste into the blog a lot smoother. Edit: Using Notepad to type in the lyrics and formatting in there seems to be the most efficient method.

On topic, the lyrics reveal a story that is somewhat confusing. The format differs from other songs. At the start, it appears to be a dialogue in some sense. Moving past that, in a quick summary, people are noticing how a lady looks quite different. She became “sexy” and “pretty” due to, according to assumptions, wanting to impress a love-interest. Continuing, eventually the assumptions do hold as true; this lady found a lovely boy whom she is in love with.

Glancing at some details, there are some sweeter and slightly jocular lines. For example, the part with how the boy may be young and cute but still remains just as reliable as an older person (oppa: literally translated as “older brother”; used by females when referring to an older male). There are some other interesting points as well.

Overall, in terms of grading the story/significance, it comes off as slightly above average. Different details are appreciated, but the story itself does not hold as exceptionally intriguing. Personally, I enjoy the overarching idea of (and goodness forbid I get called a “woman-loving feminist” again) how ladies should be able to proudly say “[they] got a boy, a handsome one…a kind one…” and such. Ladies and men all deserve a partner that they genuinely love. A relationship for the pure sake of having that entitlement is ridiculous and outrageous.  

Since there is a current trend of me nitpicking at lyrics, I will now discuss some points that I find questionable or worth mentioning in detail. As always, this critiquing here will not affect the score. Rather, I simply wish to discuss certain details. Back on the subject, something that is mentioned right off at the start is how the story’s main character changed her appearance in order to infatuate her love-interest. To be quite frank, I do not hold a solid position/stance, but overall, a lady or man should be able to dress how they desire to without the fear of acceptance or rejection. If a female wishes to dress to impress a love-interest, then by all means that should be accepted without any hassles or assumptions. On the other hand, should she wish to change her style “head-to-toe” for the purpose of pleasing herself, then that should also be fully accepted and no assumptions should ever be made that she is only dressing to attract people/a love-interest. These ideas also applies to males equally.

The final takeaway message is a small reminder to dress how you wish to dress. Changing your style completely should not warrant the automatic idea of trying to attract a lover. Sometimes, a female or male wishes to dress well for themselves, not for others. Even if the case is true where dressing to impress happens, no issues should be given there, either.

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Choreography Score: 8/10 – Digressing for a moment, I can certainly see why fans were in love with this concept; the style is quite chic and captivating. In specific, Yuri’s clothing set appealed a lot to me. Props towards her stylist; he/she did an excellent job. I can definitely learn multiple things from Girls’ Generation’s style (assuming I had stylish clothes to begin with; but alas, fashion is not one of my priorities in life yet).

Focusing on the actual subject, the choreography for “I Got A Boy” stands as solid. Syncing with the music proved to be consistent. Every maneuver was linked to either the pacing, the beats, or a mixture of the two. Transitions in this song were very fluid. Despite how the song itself had rougher transitions due to the instrumental, the dance flowed from one set to the other seamlessly. When it comes to the key points, seeing multiple, different setups was pleasant. Repetitive dancing only occurred at the choruses.

“I Got A Boy” will earn a solid score here. Every aspect of this dance is strong, but nothing pushes it as extraordinary. Nevertheless, this was an enjoyable choreography. The dance uplifts the fun mood of the song while showing off power and coordination.  

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Overall Score: 7/10 (7/10 raw score) – In the end, Girls’ Generation’s “I Got A Boy” finishes with a decent score of 7/10. That translates as an overall above average song. I personally think it’s slightly above average (6/10), but considering how the choreography was solid and that the introduction and rapping sections were quite remarkable, this score is acceptable. The song itself is weaker due to the poorer instrumental which impaired both the organization and the song sections’ capabilities.

For this review, I was extremely delayed. I believe I started this review 5 days ago, but I’ve only finished it now. Instead of filling my free time with writing reviews, I’ve guiltily spent it on either watching videos or playing a few games. I’m finishing up the bonus episode/last episode of “The TaeTiSeo”, so that has drained some time. Also, I spent an hour watching TaeTiSeo on “Hello Counselor”. Anyhow, I should hopefully be back on track. Forcing myself to do a bit of a review everyday has been helpful, so I will positively resume that old regime. I may be a bit slower for the time being, however, considering I have plenty of schoolwork and scholarships to apply for.

As always, thank you very much for reading this. Apologies for delays, but hopefully this review redeems that slightly. Thanks for all the support, it means a lot and I sincerely appreciate your time reading this blog.

If anyone is curious on my next review, I am making an abrupt turn and swapping over a recent comeback: Hello Venus’ “Sticky Sticky”. VIXX’s “Error” will be reviewed at a later time. Anyhow, in terms of Hello Venus’ comeback, I have a plethora of things to say. Their concept has completely flipped to a sheer opposite. That will be interesting to digest. That also reminds me, AOA will be making a comeback soon as well, and I think it’s about time I gave my opinion on their songs/dances. As of now, expect “Sticky Sticky” by the freshly reformed group of Hello Venus as the next review. I won’t share my own opinion on that song here, but on a different note, I am glad their group did not disband after they lost two valuable members.

I have said enough. In summary, I am on a busy schedule but I will attempt to get out a review on Hello Venus’ new song as soon as possible. Other than that, look forward to more reviews. Thank you once again for reading. “Always next to me, it’s you, who’s on my side”, so thanks and check back in a few days for the review of Hello Venus.   

Lena Park – “Only With My Heart” Review

Lena Park – Only With My Heart (Audio)

Lena Park – Only With My Heart

Reviewed on October 30, 2014

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Personal Message: To the person who requested this song, I apologize once more for being very slow with this. Normally with requests, I instantly prioritize them, but in this case, with lots of schoolwork and other reviews to finish, I had to delay this one. Nevertheless, it is finally here. The song “Only With My Heart” by Lena Park falls within the ballad genre. This song is from a Korean drama, “The Heirs”. I personally have not seen it, nor do I ever intend to. Dramas are way too time consuming. Perhaps one day I will attempt to watch one, but as of now, I have no plans (and besides, if Jessica and Krystal made me cry, then K-Dramas would have me creating rivers).

Jokes aside, although I have no experiences with K-Dramas, I’ve found songs that come from them to be very solid. Most K-Drama OSTs are in the genre of ballad, but that is to amplify the emotions bestowed to viewers. I’m a fan of ballad, as some readers may know, so I’m quite thankful for this request.

With all of that said, let’s begin the review. “Only With My Heart” is an emotional ballad to suit “The Heirs”, but even without being associated with the K-Drama, it holds its own sufficiently.

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Song Total Score: 9/10 (9/10 raw score) – Average score of the sub-categories

– Vocals: 9/10 – The most emotional, charismatic voice I have ever heard in a ballad comes from Lena Park. Her vocals come off as soft and gentle, however, towards the later part of the song, she swaps to stronger, prominent vocals. Having versatile vocals is proven. As mentioned earlier, the emotions she places within the song is incredible. Sadness, heartache, appreciation; an abundance of feelings are injected in the song. The impressive part: it is all from her vocals. Furthermore, with her voice remaining on the gentler side, the melody originating from her singing is equally stunning.

Adding all the factors of how her vocals are diverse, full of emotions and melody, a very solid score is expected. While I have yet to hear other songs by her, she proves to be a very adept singer. This ballad becomes vastly strengthened by the addition of her vocals. A high score will be given.

– Song Structure: 8/10 (8.4/10 raw score)

The song goes in this structure and order:

Introduction, Verse, Chorus, Verse, Chorus, Bridge, Chorus, Conclusion

1. Introduction (Verse): 8/10 – Out of every song I’ve reviewed so far, I believe this is definitely the one with the least sections. Quality over quantity, as the saying goes, so this should not be concerning. Besides, it means less writing it still comes out as an extremely pleasing ballad.

As some readers/listeners may have noticed, the song utilizes its verse for an introduction. This proves to be effective, however, considering that it’s a subtle, steady start, and therefore, not too sudden. “Only With My Heart” begins with the beautiful vocals of Lena Park. A calm and key instrumental of a piano accompanies her soft vocals. There are also some minimal, yet delightful, line ending effects used; “useoyo“, “mayo”, and “janhayo” are examples. Eventually, the song drifts into the true verse.

For an introduction, it holds as solid. Despite how vocals are added from the very beginning, since Lena Park’s style was gentle, emotional, and slow, it does not come off as overwhelming. Furthermore, the key instrumental of the piano was all that was used; nothing more, nothing less. This allows the soundtrack to set up while ensuring Lena Park’s vocals are supported.

A solid score is deserved. Manipulating a verse for an introduction worked out well. The stage was thoroughly prepared. Emotions, vocals, instrumental, the introduction allows listeners to anticipate what’s to come.

2. Verse: 8/10 – After the introduction, the verse replays. There is a difference, however; the instrumental escalates. Other exceptionally minor differences would include some lyrical changes, but overall, it remains nearly identical to the introduction.

Due to the fact that the sole change is the instrumental becoming slightly more layered (other instruments are added besides the piano), I will not be going over this section. The introduction covers both sections. Something to note about this ballad is how it progresses; the more time, the more complex. The first verse and chorus are on the calmer side, but once the second half occurs, the instrumental and vocals pick up on intensity. Towards the later half, power becomes added to the song.

3. Chorus: 9/10 – The choruses in this ballad are amazing.

Emotion becomes a huge aspect of the choruses. This part is where Lena Park adds a plethora of feelings. Ignoring the dramatic side, musically, this part still remains extremely impressive. Lena Park shows off her higher vocal range, the instrumental continues being flawless, and the usual tender vocals themselves thrive. In terms of the flow, her lines take on shorter note holds. At the end of her first line, the last word is stretched out. After that, one line is normally sung and then the cycle repeats.

A very beautiful and graceful song section. Everything necessary for a solid ballad exists; vocals remain perfect with melody and gentleness, the flow showcases adept singing skills, and the instrumental adds onto the quality of work done. In addition to all of those factors, emotions are included. If there is any genre that will induce tears, ballads are typically pointed at, and in this song’s case, it does a phenomenal job with doing so; feelings of sadness, happiness, and more are felt.

Anything less than a 9 would be disrespectful.

4. Bridge: 8/10 – In juxtaposition to the song as a whole, this part is quite intense, and as a result, is arguably the climax point.

The vocals come off as powerful during this section. When it comes to the instrumental, it follows suit. Lena Park unveils a different perspective of her singing. Instead of the established style of being soft, impactful lines become used. At the end of the bridge, an impressive and high pitched note hold was executed to set a climatic point.

Initially, I did not agree to the sudden contrast; gentle to strong was a bit rough. Given more time, however, I found this bridge to be satisfying. Lena Park’s vocal strength is witnessed heard here, but it was not overpowering at all. It was a perfect stance; not too powerful, but not feeble, either. On top of that, it allowed a perfect climax to occur, which, in consideration of the song’s overall progression, is unequivocally fitting. “Only With My Heart” continued to become more layered as it went on. The end point, therefore, would be some sort of intense part, such as the note hold in this case.

Overall, seeing how the bridge was the explosive moment for the song’s progression, it is completely fitting. In terms of the mechanical music itself, the singing was stunning. Lots of power was added. On the subject of power, the instrumental helped with that. By reciprocating how intense the vocals were, the soundtrack meshed quite well. A solid section in the end.  

5. Conclusion: 9/10 – The conclusion of the song is simply the instrumental playing out.

The key instrumental of the piano makes a return here. Other instruments accompany it, but it remains as the highlight. Since the previous sections were escalated due to being climatic points, the role here was to ensure the ballad ended as how it started; peaceful and gentle. Thankfully, the conclusion manages to do so.

For a lengthy duration, the melody of the song plays out via the piano. With such a long duration and a soothing instrument, “Only With My Heart” acquires an incredible ending. No abrupt cuts happened nor was the conclusion too long. A high score is earned here.

– Line Distribution: X/10 – Lena Park is a solo singer, so this part is exempted from grading.

– Instrumental: 10/10 – The instrumental in “Only With My Heart” remains equivalent to Lena Park’s vocals; very delightful.

For this soundtrack, progression is the main objective. Slowly starting and gradually building up the instrumental allows this ballad to thrive. Unlike standard K-Pop songs, reaching an exciting, energetic and upbeat moment with the instrumental is not the ballad’s plan. Taking it slowly and gently is the priority. Fantastic layering is done.

Looking at the instrumental itself, it is still regarded highly. Classical instruments are used. This adds onto the mood of the song. No complaints are found here, the instrumental for this song is extremely beautiful. Emotions are definitely felt on the sole basis of the instrumental.

Personally, this is most likely my favorite instrumental out of every song I have ever heard. Whether that’s due to the instruments used, how well it progresses, or realistically, a combination of the two, it holds as one of the best soundtracks I’ve heard. As of now, a 10/10 will be the score. No words can describe its grace. I may reduce it down to a 9 in fear of being biased, but this soundtrack is extremely pleasant.

– Meaning: 9/10 – “Only With My Heart” gives an idea of love, so a love story is expected. However, considering how emotional and sad the song is, it might not be an ordinary love story. Anyhow, these Korean to English lyrics should disclose the song’s meaning. Not 100% accurate:

Smile brightly, don’t worry about
me, I’m smiling like this right now
I won’t be able to forget, I’ll be
the only one who remembers us
I won’t forget you, so you can smile

Smile brightly, I’m just thankful
because I have memories with you
I can hide them and take
them out when I’m alone
It will strengthen me
when I miss you

Only with my heart,
I steal you
Only with my heart,
I will hug you
That’s enough for me so
don’t hurt because of me
Just locking eyes with you
makes me shed tears

When time passes and our love
grows, there will be times when
I resent you but it’s a relief Because
I will remember you being
affectionate and the days when you
hugged me So it’s good

Only with my heart,
I steal you
Only with my heart,
I will hug you
That’s enough for me so
don’t hurt because of me
Just locking eyes with you
makes me shed tears

If we run into each other
like fate, please pass me
by like you don’t know me,
even though my heart will
cry like it has
been torn into two
So I can see you for a short
moment while you pass by

Only with my heart,
I will want you
Only with my heart,
I will kiss you
Don’t be sorry,
this is my life
Whether you love me or
feel sorry, I feel the same way

Before anything, the lyrics may seem grammatically incorrect, but this is the result of translating from Korean to English. I did my best to clean it up without losing a line’s structure, but it will still sound confusing at some points. It could’ve been a lot worse, however. For example, Nine Muses’ “Gun” could has been translated into 4 different lyrics. Meaning-wise, they’re all identical, but in terms of words and line structure, they all are vastly different.

Time to focus on the real matter: the meaning/story of “Only With My Heart”. The song delivers a very sad feeling, but diving deeper, it seems to be moreover on reflection versus feeling melancholy. The lyrics tell a story of either a lady or gentleman who is thinking over a love-interest. It is almost as if the main character loves someone dearly, but in the end, is unable to be with them or perhaps, their love-interest does not feel the same. Something to consider, though, is, as is the song’s title, the line of “only with my heart…” That line could support the idea of how the main character has been with their love interest, and thus, made memories, but unfortunately, due to certain circumstances, are now separated and as a result, “only with [their] heart” can she/he be with the love interest.

There are a lot of questions that could be imposed. Overall, a very meaningful, emotional story. The details are interesting and it remains a unique story. “Only With My Heart” sends out a story that has multiple perspectives to it. An 8 or 9 is the score. I personally will lean towards the 9 due to how layered the lyrics can be. It isn’t simply a person who is no longer with their love-interest.

Although this part will be excluded from affecting the score, since the song is part of a K-Drama, chances are, the meaning ties back into the drama’s plot. Fans/viewers of “The Heirs” should feel free to send in their own interpretation of the lyrics. Perhaps the drama’s characters will shed some insight on this song’s story.  

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Choreography Score: X/10 – “Only With My Heart” is a ballad, so a dance is not expected. Considering the fact that it is also a K-Drama OST, the song itself is the focus.

Choreography Score is excluded/doesn’t exist.

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Overall Score: 9/10 (9/10 raw score) – With the score being the sheer song itself, a very, very high score of 9/10 is the final standing. Do I agree? I will say so. This song is definitely one I hold highly. The soundtrack is amazing, and no other song has given so much emotion.

To the person who requested this song/review, I would personally like to thank you. Thanks for this request. Hopefully you enjoy this and more importantly, I hope I did this review and song justice. Feel free to send in your own insight towards the lyrics (and song); I would enjoy reading different takes on what the ballad is about.

While I am at it, thank you, the reader, for reading this. I am being very sincere when I say this, but I feel very grateful when people take moments out of their busy lives to read my reviews. I cannot express enough gratitude. Thank you.

Anyhow, I worked on this review for a total of two days. That is pretty good considering how busy I’ve been. Nevertheless, this review is the shortest one I’ve done (no, “Hangover” doesn’t count) since the number of sections are on the lesser side. It was still fun, of course.

In terms of my next review, I am not too sure. I heard a lot of male groups are making comebacks or have already done so. I may get a review out on those new songs. I guess it will be a surprise in terms of what I review next. Something else to mention, a Blog Reflection post will be up by the end of the month. That will be fun to talk about.

The end has come, so keep checking back for more reviews. I have no idea on what my next review is, so it’ll be a fun surprise. Thanks for reading, “Only with my heart, I will hug you”

Orange Caramel – “Catallena” Review

Orange Caramel – Catallena (Dance Practice)

Orange Caramel – Catallena

Reviewed on October 26, 2014

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Personal Message: As some may notice, I made some subtle adjustments for my review outline. In summary, I bolded the “Personal Message” section, and deleted unnecessary explanations on certain scores (such as for the “Song Structure” part). Consider this a new chapter/season or simply a revision. For other changes, pasting reviews should go a lot smoother (which once again, will be tested with this review).

Other news to address, I’ve been slacking a lot on posting actively. Since I believe in honesty, the reason behind that was instead of using the time I had for reviews, I stuffed it up with watching a show. That’s understandable, though. T-ARA’s Soyeon and Hyomin were on “Hello Counselor”, and in addition, Queen Vocalist Ailee was also there. Sounds excusable to me (although on some serious note, I am busy with papers and whatnot). Once this review is done, I will start a requested song (very sorry for the delay).

Back to the review, the song for today is Orange Caramel’s “Catallena”. Personally, I am not familiar with these ladies. From what I heard, they were originally a sub-unit from After School, but after a booming growth in popularity, they have become their own individual group. I might be making this up, so don’t take my words. This song in particular has a small layer of Halloween; magic and magicians (perfect for the upcoming holiday). Or at least, judging from their dance tutorial, it seems that way. I’ve partially watched one live performance, and the concept there was about food, so at the end of the day, viewers are probably still debating on what the main concept truly is. Strange yet comical. Speaking of comical, the dance practice video linked above is quite silly at the start (and end), but thankfully, the ladies resumed their usual practice after their manager yelled at them to do it prettily. After that, they claimed they were going to do it for real, and with that, they followed through.

Without further ado, let’s begin this review. “Catallena” fits the upcoming day of Halloween through its magical theme. Are the members of Raina, Nana, and Lizzy going to successfully use spells to capture the love of fans, or will they falter? This review will hopefully answer that.

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Song Total Score: 7/10 (7/10 raw score) – Average score of the sub-categories

– Vocals: 5/10 – The vocals in “Catallena” come out to be average. The biggest issue is the style of singing; exceptionally high-pitched and frail. Perhaps this is to add onto the jocular aspect, but the style of singing with needing to sound “cute” isn’t pleasant. In fact, even T-ARA or Girl’s Day, two groups that are typically scored with 9/10 for vocals, would have earned the same score of a 5 for certain songs due to this style. Girl’s Day’s “Oh My God” and T-ARA’s “Roly Poly”, “Sexy Love”, and “Lovey-Dovey” would have all received a 5. The only benefit from having very frail vocals is to emphasize catchiness, which actually does help in the long run for “Catallena”. However, from looking at a pure vocal perspective, it comes out as mediocre. No impressive singing is done, nor are the lines vocally demanding. Orange Caramel may have a song that showcases stronger vocal skills, but for this song specifically, it’s average.

– Song Structure: 6/10 (6.43/10 raw score)

The song goes in this structure and order:

Introduction, Chorus, Verse, Pre-Chorus, Chorus, Post-Chorus, Verse, Pre-Chorus, Chorus, Bridge, Chorus, Conclusion (Post-Chorus)

1. Introduction: 8/10 – All the ladies chip in for the beginning.

For the introduction, the instrumental kicks in with friendly, catchy beats. A violin(?) is also utilized. A few more seconds in, one by one, every member throws in a “Ha!” or screech if it’s Nana. After all of that, the chorus arrives.

The instantaneous addition of the beats were well placed. It created the uplifting, fun mood. Adding on, the violin gave emphasis to the ladies’ slightly silly “Ha!” words; every word was backed up by the violin. This amplified the words. Now at the end, the instrumental dies down properly for the next section to take place.

A solid start for “Catallena”. While the “Ha!” words came out as somewhat obnoxious, the instrumental does a fantastic job with being effective and prominent. Despite still being built up, the basic foundation of the beats and violin set the song properly. It wasn’t overwhelming nor was it lacking. A perfect amount was found for the start. 

2. Chorus: 8/10 – Similar to 4Minute’s “Whatcha’ Doin Today” (check out my review on it), the chorus occurs right after the introduction. Choruses are typically the main component to a song, and considering how it usually takes time to build up to it, it may seem concerning to use it as early as this. Thankfully, Orange Caramel manages to pull it off for this song. Nana and Raina handle the first chorus.

Unlike many other songs that build up the chorus, “Catallena” possesses one that is capable of standing on its own. Nana initiates her first line with frail, higher noted vocals. After one line, there’s a slight pause before she resumes again. Once Raina steps in, her parts replicate Nana’s lines. The difference, however, is at the very last line, there are background vocals of “Jutti meri oye hoi hoi” (literally random sounds) added.

The choruses in the song come off as fun and lighthearted. As mentioned earlier, the singing style vastly helps here. By having vocals that are high pitched and fragile, it creates a catchy, melodic flow that perfectly meshes with the lighter instrumental. Remaining catchy and full of upbeat melodies allow the choruses to thrive.

Overall, a solid chorus. The choruses acquire the rare feat of being able to hold by itself. That can be credited towards the excellent melody and flow along with the complementing pair of vocals and instrumental.

3. Verse: 5/10 – Nana and Lizzy handle the first verse.

Coming right after the chorus, the instrumental swaps into remaining more passive. Nana handles the first lines with the established singing style of being high pitched and delicate. After her lines, Lizzy comes in and follows suit. What is notable, however, is at the end, to aid the transition, Lizzy’s words of “chum chugopa” are slowed down.

The instrumental here does the usual switch of being more passive in order to contrast it from the energetic part of the song, which is the chorus. However, since it is on the duller side, it pushes more focus on the vocals, and as mentioned earlier, that is not a great idea. The vocals aren’t too strong by themselves. On the subject of vocals, the childish style of singing remains as lackluster as ever; nothing impressive. It may give a friendly, sillier tone, but musically, it does not come off as pleasing.

Overall, an average verse. Thankfully it did not hit the negative side of being anything less than average, but in terms coming off as even slightly delightful, that is nonexistent. A plain verse. The instrumental was not present in helping the section, and as a result, the lacking vocals had to take responsibility.

4. Pre-Chorus: 7/10 – Raina and Nana pair up for the first pre-chorus.

The pre-chorus begins with a catchy “lalala” from Raina. Her lines continue all the way to the background vocals of “Jutti meri oye hoi hoi, paula mera oye hoi hoi”. From that point, Nana finishes the pre-chorus with one line. The vocals are still the usual higher pitched, frail style. The instrumental, does begin to become more energetic.

This section isn’t too bad. Raina’s start came off as extremely catchy. Furthermore, her lines were on the quicker side, and as a result, subtle build-up for the chorus occurs. Lots of melody and flow were present. When it comes to the background vocals part, it does come off as slightly obnoxious; absurd sounds were made. Perhaps it is to add onto some jocular aspects, or, as seen by their dance tutorial, to add a “spellcasting” moment. Nana’s part was to conclude the pre-chorus. Using a different member allowed a contrast that signified an ending, but of course, the vocals are still on the poorer side.

Slightly above average is the score. Raina’s fun, catchy part at the start gave the pre-chorus the needed fuel to run well. The melody and flow are all joyful. What does prevent the score from being any higher is the sillier part at the middle; the “oye hoi hoi” part. That part, while theme fitting, comes off as obnoxious and ruins the melodic flow that was occurring.

5. Post-Chorus: 5/10 – Catchiness is the post-chorus’ asset. All the ladies contribute during the first post-chorus.

The ladies adopt a unique style here; stuttering. By stuttering over certain words, it creates a lingering, catchy effect. Nana’s lines were stuttered at the very start, and for a clear example, Lizzy’s line of “nok nok nok nogadeunda, nok nok nok nogadeunda” followed the same style. Raina’s line also emulates that pattern.

While being catchy is a key part in having popularity in any pop genre song, it does not necessarily signify a song is good. To actually digress a bit, T-ARA is the best example of such. After watching multiple interviews of them, I noticed how they always claim their top hit songs were “Roly Poly”, “Lovey-Dovey”, and such. Ironically, their better, latest, well crafted songs of “Number 9” and “Do You Know Me?” and more are almost never mentioned. The difference is a large shift of style. “Roly Poly” has a very catchy, poppier style that appeals to a lot of people. After all, it’s quite hard to get that song’s chorus out of your head. In comparison to “Number 9”, however, “Roly Poly” is seemingly inferior. The vocals in “Number 9” are vastly better, the instrumental is a lot more complex than simple electronic sounds, and so on. To cut to the point, even though “Roly Poly” may be an extremely catchy song, and thus, a lot more popular, that does not mean it is vastly superior to other less catchier songs, such as “Number 9”.

To make this all relate to Orange Caramel’s “Catallena”, while the post-choruses are very catchy, that is it; endlessly looping in listeners’ heads. The stuttering effect may be extraordinary, but without anything additional to support the catchiness, the post-choruses overall come out as average.

Average is the final score. A very catchy part that lacks everything else.

6. Bridge: 5/10 – Another average section in “Catallena”. Lizzy and Raina handle it, although it’s primarily Raina.

When the bridge occurs, the instrumental turns into an echoing, slower paced soundtrack. The technical term may be reverb, but I have no idea at all and I probably made that up. Anyhow, Lizzy’s vocals are morphed along as well like the instrumental. After the song resumes to sounding normal, Raina comes in two lines.

Firstly, the effect done at the very start is, in my personal book, extremely standardized. It’s standardized like pre-choruses that utilize the effect of looping a beat back and forth and accelerating it to create a hype effect (best example is in T-ARA N4’s “Jeon Won Diary”; now that is one very, very old review I’ve done). Focusing on “Catallena”, the transition to the bridge, as a result, comes off as stale. Making everything an echo and then resumed as normal was not special. On the bright side, the follow-up by Raina wasn’t too bad. Her lines were full of melody and flow.

In the end, an average bridge. The echoing effect was poorly executed. Raina does her best to redeem this section through some solid follow-up singing, but unfortunately, even that wasn’t spectacular enough to push the bridge to a better score.

7. Conclusion (Post-Chorus): 7/10 – For this song, the post-chorus is recycled for the conclusion. Surprisingly, even though the post-chorus itself isn’t solid, it works out for the ending. Every member contributes; same as every post-chorus.

Before the post-chorus is purely examined, the final chorus was respectable. Lots of two-part singing occurred, and due to that, a final climax moment is set. In terms of the post-chorus, it plays out as usual; the stutterings and catchiness are all present. At the very end, a whispered “Yes” is heard. No abrupt ending happened. A perfect end in that regard.

For the conclusion, considering how there was a relatively intense moment with the two-part singing, having an ending that brings the sound down to a relaxing point is crucial. Thankfully, Orange Caramel acquires that via its post-chorus; simple stuttering. The fact that the post-choruses aren’t layered with anything except the catchy stutters, it lowers the intensity by a lot.

Overall, above average for a conclusion. The post-chorus fits perfectly, and with a crisp, clear ending, a decent closure is found.

– Line Distribution: 10/10 – Three ladies are in Orange Caramel, so this is practically a free 10. Or at least, it should be.

Raina had lines in multiple sections. She’s involved for the choruses, pre-choruses, and more. No issues here.

Nana is all over the place as well. She’s at choruses, post-choruses, verses; the bridge is the only place she lacks.

Lizzy is practically everywhere as well; no issues.

Perhaps the best a group can get for how lines are distributed. Everyone is equal with what is being said, and there’s a lot of alternating of lines. 10/10.

– Instrumental: 8/10 – Although the vocals were lacking in “Catallena”, the instrumental proved to be quite solid.

It does its job with transitioning the song, it matches how energetic the song gets, and it fits well with the vocals. In addition to all of that, it’s a fun, cheery soundtrack. The beats are light and the violin that arrives allow for extra emphasis. This soundtrack leans towards the poppier side, but unlike a lot of other songs, it doesn’t rely on electronic sounds; real instrumental sounds are used. 

A very impressive soundtrack. The silly, fun theme is added from it, and with how well it meshes with the ladies’ vocals along with supporting them, a solid score is expected.

– Meaning: 6/10 – From what I know, “Catallena” isn’t a word in either English or Korean. What, then, is it? Hopefully the lyrics address it, and if not that, at least these Korean to English lyrics will release a story. Not 100% accurate on translation:

The small, dancing Catallena (red sun)
Without knowing, I’m falling for you
Chic and proud, Catallena (red sun)
Jutti meri oye hoi hoi, I’m bewitched

Oh my, she’s so great, I’ve fallen for her
Even as a girl, I can see she’s so great
She’s temperamental but I want to see her
I want to know her, I want to dance with her

Lalala shake, shake it, wave your hand
Scream until you lose your voice
(Jutti Meri Oye Hoi Hoi
Paula Mera Oye Hoi Hoi)
Good job, I’ll give you 100 points

The small, dancing Catallena (red sun)
Without knowing, I’m falling for you
Chic and proud, Catallena (red sun)
Jutti meri oye hoi hoi, I’m bewitched

Softly, softly,
Melting,
Melting
Shivering, shivering,
Trembling
I want to follow her

I don’t like her because she’s so chic
But even as a girl, I can see she’s so attractive
I’m angry but I want to dance for an hour, two hours
I want to play down to my very last bone

Lalala shake, shake it, wave your hand
Scream until you lose your voice
(Jutti Meri Oye Hoi Hoi
Paula Mera Oye Hoi Hoi)
Not good enough, have some more strength

The small, dancing Catallena (red sun)
Without knowing, I’m falling for you
Chic and proud, Catallena (red sun)
Jutti meri oye hoi hoi,

(I’m bewitched, I’m bewitched,
I’m bewitched, I’m bewitched)

The hands that brush by are warm
Is she actually nice once you get to know her?

My temperamental Catallena
Everyone is falling for her
Chic and proud, Catallena (red sun)
Jutti meri oye hoi hoi, I’m bewitched

Softly, softly,
Melting,
Melting
Shivering, shivering,
Trembling
I want to follow her

Firstly, formatting the lyrics was quite tedious. I spent a large portion of time making sure the lyrics weren’t scattered with large gaps and whatnot. Anyhow, in terms of the story, it’s an intriguing, unique one. This would explain why the concepts for “Catallena” have been very unusual.

The lyrics tell the story of a female, a girl in specific, and how she seems to be infatuated by another female’s grace and charm. The other female that the girl has fallen for happens to be named, or simply called, “Catallena”. This explains the song’s title. Anyhow, Catallena appears to be someone who’s quite chic and popular; everyone loves her. To tie in the magician theme, it is as if Catallena is one; her charm is equal to a spell that makes everyone fall in love with her.

An interesting story that I’ve never heard before. The mysterious person, Catallena, creates a lot of questioning. In summary, however, the lyrics aren’t too impressive. A girl is infatuated with Catallena, a female who is full with so much fun and charm that every single person ends up loving her. Special, differentiating details are lacking, but the story itself seems somewhat comical and remains, nevertheless, very interesting and original. Slightly above average.

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Choreography Score: 8/10 – The dance for “Catallena” is what personally attracted me. Musically, it’s not too strong, but when it comes to the choreography, it amplifies the song as a whole. Simplicity is the choreography’s biggest strength; nothing complicated is executed. Although tricky, complex dances can be very impressive, such as with Boyfriend’s “Witch”, simple dances can be just as stunning, or in some cases, even more so.

Syncing is perfect; every movement was connected to the beat or flow. The chorus is a clear example of synchronicity between song and dance; feet taps were matching with the beat, and later, the hand motion is to fit the song’s flow. In terms of the key points, they are fantastic. Every song section had its own separate dance attached. All were simple and fun.

A solid score will be given here. The choreography in “Catallena” is fabulous. Being simple is perhaps why the dance is phenomenal. Every section has one dance, and the dances themselves were very simple maneuvers that synced up with the music.

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Overall Score: 8/10 (7.5/10 raw score) – Let me first say, I wrote for 5 hours straight. Of course, not for solely this review, but adding up a paper I did before finishing this review, I wrote from 1 to 6 in the evening. I’m quite glad that I did write about a third of this review on an earlier date, that saved me some time. I’m not sure how my eyes are holding up with this much screen time, but I’m still functional so far.

Back on track, Orange Caramel’s “Catallena” finishes with an 8/10, which I do disagree with. 6/10 or 7/10 would seem more fitting as the Overall Score. The choreography is exceptionally planned out, but the song itself is mediocre. Catchy to listen to, but that is it. Nothing vocally impressive. The dance is what I would recommend for this song. Now that is something I rarely say; often time I reside with the song itself.

Anyhow, as I will always do and say, thank you so much for reading. It means a lot for me that you’re willing to take some minutes out of your own spare time to read this, so thank you. Hopefully this review was entertaining and insightful. I’m hoping a lot of Orange Caramel fans will line up at my house with anger at the words I’ve said. Figuratively, of course. But that is life; disagreement. I hope your own musical opinions are fired up.

I’m quite glad that I finished this before Halloween. A part of me was concerned that I would not finish this in time for that, but I proved myself wrong. For those who are celebrating Halloween, remember to stay safe and to have fun.

For my next review, I’m quite certain that I will finally review the requested K-Drama song (once again sorry for the delay). And let me say, this reminds me on why I don’t watch K-Dramas; I don’t have enough tissue boxes. Silly jokes aside, I will get the incredible ballad review out as soon as possible. This also reminds me, with winter times coming soon, I, for some reason, tend to start finding a lot more ballad songs. That or perhaps mainly ballad songs come out during this time. Or a combination of the two. Anyways, I’ll do my best to not turn this blog into a really sad, emotional one that’s full of tear-inducing songs. Besides, there are a lot of other usual K-Pop songs for review, so that isn’t a concern.

The end has arrived, so thank you once more and expect an emotional ballad as my next review. I have other songs in mind as well, so depending, I may or may not do them before the ballad. Keep checking back on this blog, to my readers, “Without knowing, I’m falling for you”.

Edit: Still having format errors, will try figuring it out. Lyrics are misplaced and any line scratches (like this) aren’t carried over. Manually formatting for now. Pasting in the lyrics directly onto the post seems to be fine instead of pasting the lyrics into a separate document and then pasting it here.

Jieun – “Twenty-Five” Review

Jieun – Twenty-Five (Live Performance)

Jieun – Twenty-Five/25

Reviewed on October 22, 2014

Jieun - Twenty-Five.jpg

Personal Message: After testing my show review of “The TaeTiSeo” on a separate document, I can now safely say, reviews will not longer be “live posted”. This will help with giving more time to do reviews and no longer will I feel rushed. And, as addressed a while back, it will solve the issue of reviews being leaked/spoiled. Hopefully the format doesn’t get ruined for reviews, but we will find out.

Anyhow, the review today is Secret’s Jieun’s very recent comeback; “Twenty-Five” is the song title. Considering her position in Secret is being their main vocalist, high expectations are set. With their summer comeback of “I’m In Love” (check out my review of it) being exceptionally solid and with leader Hyosung’s solo (check out my review of “Good-night Kiss”) proving to be just as successful, Jieun has a multitude of standards to meet, and hopefully, to exceed. For this comeback, the concept is a mixture of gentleness and sexiness; on the surface, it appears to be a very soft and cute style, but due to subtlety with the lyrics’ meaning, a tint of sexiness becomes derived. Jieun’s song tackles the idea of adult ceremony/coming-of-age. A girl becoming a woman is the story.

Although Jieun is pressured with all the previous group songs and Hyosung’s solo, with her amazing, crisp and clear vocals, comparing her to previous works would be disrespectful; Jieun comes out with her own, individual solo song. Her song takes a unique form of ballad along with standard K-Pop. This allows for very beautiful and soothing vocals to be heard while maintaining a catchy melody.

With all that said, even though Jieun may be 24 (not sure), she is already a woman despite not being “Twenty-Five”. Let’s see how her hard work and stunning vocals remind fans that she’s Secret’s main vocalist.

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Song Total Score: 8/10 (7.75/10 raw score) – Average score of the sub-categories, separate so Choreography Score doesn’t affect it.

– Vocals: 9/10 – A high score is anticipated. Once again, having the background of being Secret’s main vocalist will serve her well. For “Twenty-Five” specifically, Jieun shows a different vocal side; a very soft demeanor with singing.

As heard in other songs, Jieun is often the one handling the powerful, intense lines. This song differs in that it showcases her softer, gentle vocals. Nevertheless, her vocals remain promising. Her range consists of lower notes and very high notes. Bringing in energy and intensity proves to be no issue, and her iconic voice of being crisp, clear, and sharp holds as normal.  

Jieun possesses beautiful vocals; super melodic and versatile. A high score will be given here.

– Song Structure: 7/10 (6.86/10 raw score) – Going to have scores for “Verse score”, “Pre-Chorus score”, “Chorus score”, etc.)

The song goes in this structure and order:

Introduction, Verse, Pre-Chorus, Chorus, Post-Chorus, Verse, Pre-Chorus, Chorus, Bridge, Chorus, Post-Chorus, Conclusion

For “Song Structure”, I’m going to go through each section (Verse, Chorus, etc) and give a score per section. After that, the average is the “Song Structure” score.

1. Introduction: 8/10 – Before I start, a quick reminder for readers to check out the song’s official audio. The live performance linked above doesn’t have the best sound quality (and with ladies and men fanchanting, a lot of the audio is muffled).

Anyhow, this has been a lengthier introduction in comparison to a lot of other songs. That isn’t bad, though. In fact, for this song, it allows a full, sufficient construction.

The introduction begins with Jieun tossing in a few melodic sounds of “Oh~” and “Yeah~”. The instrumental also kicks off with light snaps and beats. Progressing a few more seconds, it transitions upon Jieun’s words of “Oh baby~”. From there, a key saxophone is used and the beats and bass become heavier. In the background, “Woo woo” is looped around. Eventually, Jieun tosses in one more “Oh baby~” and the instrumental transitions to the verse.

This introduction is based on progression; it becomes more layered. The initial seconds were on the simplistic side. The purpose was to start slowly and steadily. By having Jieun utilize only melodic sounds, it preserves her true singing for later. Now once the introduction builds up, “Twenty-Five” turns complex; the key saxophone arrives, the beats start becoming catchy, and Jieun’s sweet, melodic voice continues to blend in.

Overall, a solid introduction. Slowly starting allowed it to have a relaxing pace. The instrumental set the song’s mood and Jieun’s vocals prepared listeners for the singing in “Twenty-Five”. A lengthy but graceful introduction. It does its job along with capturing listeners.

2. Verse: 8/10 – As normal, I will critique the first verse. The second verse does differ in that it’s focused on higher notes and is vastly shorter. I am still considering the second verse in the scoring.

In light of the first verse, smooth and slow are Jieun’s tactics. Her vocals come off as extremely soothing. By being in the lower range, it matches exceptionally well with the instrumental, which remains on the passive side. After Jieun finishes her first line, there is a background male vocal added. During this moment, it provides a welcoming contrast to Jieun’s melodic and comforting voice. The background vocals here were simply words. This helps the song deviate from having purely Jieun’s voice play out, and thus, reduces any staleness. After the background voice, Jieun resumes as normal and the format occurs once more.

As stated earlier, in consideration of the second verse, it remains inferior to its previous form; it lacks a lot. Besides the loss in duration, the second verse comes off on the higher pitch scale and the background vocals are removed.

Anyhow, for the verses, in the end, they still remain very pleasing. The first verse does an amazing job of bringing in the ballad genre. Vocal-orientated and having chemistry with the instrumental leads the first verse to a solid score. Jieun’s vocals were very captivating and the unique flow of using the background vocals further strengthen the section. 8 will be the score.

3. Pre-Chorus: 9/10 – If I were being biased, this would be a 10/10 score. Or at least, if there was a “completely-infatuate-me-with-your-voice” score, this would hit a 10.

On track, the pre-choruses in “Twenty-Five” have ought to be the most soothing sections I have ever heard. For this part, Jieun handles the first few lines in a low, slow, and utterly charming voice. Her singing style is in a whisper; seducing, pleasing, calming. At the very end of a pre-chorus, she would reach for a very high note at “It’s my time to shine”, and thanks to the higher pitch, a smooth transition becomes granted.

Coming off as soothing may be the pre-choruses’ largest asset. Having a low pitch, steady whisper along with a proper accompanying instrumental becomes very delightful. This section, in juxtaposition to the vocals Jieun is known for in Secret, showcases how versatile she is; singing powerful lines isn’t her only ability. Jieun proves she can show a gentler and calmer side while still luring fans in. A very beautiful, charming section that lulls fans. Jieun’s crisp vocals are perfect.

4. Chorus: 6/10 – This part heavily reminds me of the choruses in Ailee’s “Don’t Touch Me”. Being connected to Ailee is good, but to “Don’t Touch Me”, that is not good.

“Beautiful young and free” initiates the choruses. In comparison to the previous sections, Jieun amps up her vocal strength. Her lines are energetic and resonating. Strong note holds are thrown in, such as with “gata~” and “boyeojulge~”. Vocally, this section works out very well. What holds the choruses back, however, is, similar to Ailee’s “Don’t Touch Me”, the instrumental.

The singing here may be very melodic and pleasing, but the instrumental holds as very frail; a beat is the main instrument. The key saxophone remains subtle versus being a main instrument. Should something assisted the beat, Jieun’s vocals would not feel as empty. Her singing is sharp and on point, but without an adequate foundation from the instrumental, it does not uphold as impactful.

Overall, very slightly above average. The vocals are still phenomenal, but for a song section, it proves to be disappointing. If the instrumental gave off the same power and energy as Jieun’s singing, no issue would exist.

5. Post-Chorus: 5/10 – For the post-chorus, the style becomes fully revamped; instead of the ongoing ballad genre, the song temporarily swaps to a funkier, rap-like part.

While this section has no issue with the vocals and instrumental meshing well, what does become a prominent issue is the feeling of repetition. Translated to English, the lines are repeating “Pretty age 25” for multiple lines. Jieun changes her singing style to become rougher and has a speaking demeanor versus a singing one. The only differing line in this section is  “Baby I’m feeling so amazing”, which was sung in an extremely impressive high note. Unfortunately, though, this section does not compete with the previous ones.

Average for a post-chorus. It is not necessarily bad, but nothing is impressive at all. Utilizing a new style had potential, but repeating “Pretty age 25” for too long was not the way to execute the different singing style.

6. Bridge: 7/10 – “Twenty-Five” is on a scary downhill momentum. Hopefully the bridge changes that.

As expected, the moment the bridge occurred, the instrumental shifted to a passive stance. Jieun’s singing returns to the powerful side. Her first two lines are filled with a lot of intensity. Now after those lines, she handles an English line of “I can be what I wanna be”. Once one Korean line passes, Jieun finishes the bridge off with a strong and slightly resonating line of “I want it all”.

With how “Twenty-Five” was established, it was a good decision from the song producers to not have Jieun toss in her capable, insanely powerful note holds. A large climatic moment such as that would be deemed as utterly unfitting. Anyhow, this bridge does its job. A break/relaxing moment for the song was provided, although it did not come out as extremely impressive. Powerful lines were heard, but the usual beloved melodic lines were missing. The instrumental was solid, thankfully.

The bridge in “Twenty-Five” holds an above average score; not too pleasing, but still good.

7. Conclusion: 6/10 – A conclusion that holds as its own section (instead of “Conclusion (Chorus)”, for example), something that’s relatively rare.

The conclusion is once the final post-chorus ended. Since the song did not end at the last post-chorus, a separate section becomes created. For the conclusion, the snapping beat instrumental remained after all vocals were diminished. It plays out for a few seconds until at the very end, a quick and heavy bassline occurs and wraps up the song.

Firstly, the instrumental itself isn’t too fantastic; the light beats are not catchy on their own. As a result, that will lower the score slightly. Furthermore, having the instrumental gently fade out would have been preferred to the current idea of adding a bassline to end the song. That created a rushed and forced ending. Peering at the current pathway the conclusion had, a gentle, fading end was expected. Instead, the bassline seemingly cuts off the instrumental prematurely; a few more seconds should have existed to allow the instrumental to properly die out.

Very slightly above average. The positive side of having an instrumental play out as the last moment redeems it slightly, but the abrupt cut at the end along with a mediocre instrumental will prevent a higher score.

– Line Distribution: X/10 – Jieun is running solo, so this is not applied.

– Instrumental: 7/10 – A classier soundtrack, which, in comparison to the song’s theme, perfectly fits. Maturity and calmness emanates from the instrumental.

Musically, the instrumental was either a hit or miss; for the verses and pre-choruses, it aided Jieun’s voice. When it came to sections such as the chorus, however, it had a negative effect. During the chorus, it did not reciprocate Jieun’s energetic vocals. Nevertheless, an above average instrumental. For times it shined, it vastly supported the song. For moments where it hindered the song, the soundtrack became disappointing. The major fault lies during the chorus, otherwise, a solid instrumental.  

– Meaning: 8/10 – As briefly mentioned earlier, “Twenty-Five” focuses on coming-of-age for a girl becoming a woman. Let’s see what message is sent through these Korean to English translated lyrics. Not 100% accurate.

Oh, baby
(Woo Woo Woo Woo Woo)
(Woo Woo Woo Woo Woo)
Oh, baby
(Woo Woo Woo Woo Woo)
(Woo Woo Woo Woo Woo)

When I look in the mirror these days
I don’t know why but it’s different
(Who is that girl?)
You might fall for me too
My body line is perfect
My style shows that I know something
(woo hot thing)
Now I’m the age of a woman

I won’t act like a child anymore
I’ve shed the image of a girl and now I’m a woman
It’s my time to shine

Beautiful young and free
I think I know what love is now
I won’t hide it
Beautiful young and free
I’ll show you everything I want to do
It’s the moment I’ve been waiting for

Pretty age 25
Pretty age, pretty age 25
Pretty age 25
Pretty age, baby I’m feeling so amazing
Pretty age 25
Pretty age, pretty age 25
Pretty age 25
Pretty age, baby I’m feeling so amazing

My skirt has gotten shorter
No matter what anyone says
(I don’t care)
I’ll be stronger, I’ll be more daring
Eyes are following me
I feel it even more
Now I’m the age of a woman

I won’t act like a child anymore
I’ve shed the image of a girl and now I’m a woman
It’s my time to shine

Beautiful young and free
I think I know what love is now
I won’t hide it
Beautiful young and free
I’ll show you everything I want to do
It’s the moment I’ve been waiting for

Follow what you want
You just need to decide now
Don’t care about other things
Be the perfect woman
I can be what I wanna be
I’m changing, I want it all

Beautiful young and free
I think I know what love is now
I won’t hide it
Beautiful young and free
I’ll show you everything I want to do
It’s the moment I’ve been waiting for

Pretty age 25
Pretty age, pretty age 25
Pretty age 25
Pretty age, baby I’m feeling so amazing
Pretty age 25
Pretty age, pretty age 25
Pretty age 25
Pretty age, baby I’m feeling so amazing

The lyrics tell a story of a girl who has reached “pretty age 25”, and thus, now feels like woman. She is bursting with confidence, refreshment, and feels a lot more mature. It’s a lovely story with lots of interesting details. Overall, it’s a positive message for girls becoming ladies. Loving yourself and being who you want to be as a woman (or man) is the main idea.

Solid lyrics. Nothing pushes the lyrics to be exceptionally amazing, deep and sophisticated, but the story holds as enjoyable.

Now, before I end things here, there are some things to still pick out. Peering at the first verse, it has some details which have become controversial; the “my body line is perfect” part. Firstly, before anything else is said, this part would have benefitted from Jieun saying the background vocals versus the current background male vocals. The reason for that is the background vocals seems to be the character’s thinking; she became a woman and now views herself differently.

Back on topic with the “body line” line (not a pun, I promise), this part isn’t necessarily negative. What type of body line remains unclear. Since it’s undescribed, it could be anything and that could be the positive message; feel confident with how your own body looks, whether you’re a woman or man. Now of course, there is still the critical side of how it might be talking about a specific shape after all, and if that is the case, then this line would be rendered as disappointing.  

What should be the main focus in terms of controversy is the second background line of “woo hot thing”. While the newly coming-of-age lady might be thinking that to herself due to confidence, that phrase itself isn’t necessarily positive. Perhaps I am vastly overlooking this part, but “hot thing” should never, ever be used to describe a woman (or person) at all.Hot in itself is already a dimmed-down, unsophisticated and lackluster word; adding “thing” makes it even worse. Not only is the lady in the lyrics described as simply “hot”, but instead of a proper pronoun of lady or woman, she becomes a “thing”. While I won’t mark down the score on the basis of this, I still find it very vital that listeners are aware of certain lyric details. The diction here remains questionable.

And actually instead of cutting it short, I recalled one more controversial line: “My skirt has gotten shorter”. For those who find this repulsive, it sends me the idea of “Oh my God, this lady has legs and skin, have mercy on this crime!” And an apology if using “Oh my God” offends/bothers any readers. Anyhow, that should sound ridiculous; obviously females have legs and skin. There is no issue if a lady decides to reveal her body. It is completely unjust that females feel the need to hide themselves; a social stigma of shaming female bodies remains prominent. It is the female’s decision on what to wear. Perhaps revealing more skin is for comfort, or perhaps, it is to feel sexier, and in no way is that a crime nor should it lead to unwanted reactions. This line should not trigger any hateful response. Women should dress how they please to, not for others. I could continue on, but I feel this is sufficient enough.

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Choreography Score: 7/10 – When it comes to the choreography in “Twenty-Five”, it comes off as calm and simple. For this song’s predominant genre of ballad, the choreography works out perfectly; relaxing and mature.

Breaking down the dance, in terms of syncing with the music, it was well matched. Every beat and snap was on point, and even the singing’s flow became reflected via slower movements. Backup dancers were perfect. They supported Jieun and weren’t excessive in quantity nor spotlight. When it comes to the key points, “Twenty-Five” does languish. None of them stick out as impressive; they remain bland. This may be due to the ballad style, and thus, only calm, basic styles exist, but energy and power aren’t necessary for a choreography to be phenomenal.

Overall, above average is the score. While the key points are repeated and aren’t outstanding, the spectacular syncing and backup dancers redeem the score.

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Overall Score: 8/10 (7.5/10 raw score) – In the end, Jieun’s recent solo comeback of “Twenty-Five” finishes with an 8/10 or 4/5, which signifies as good/solid. In my personal opinion, I feel that overall, this song leans towards a 7/10. Jieun’s amazing vocals allow this song to thrive, and in addition, the verse and pre-choruses. However, other perspectives, such as the choruses and post-choruses, are lacking. Nevertheless, a solo comeback that was well done and worthwhile; Jieun lived up to the standard of previous works (Hyosung’s Good-night Kiss, Secret’s group songs).

For this review, I was only able to work on it shortly per day over a span of multiple days. I have been really slow with this one, so huge apologies for that. To be honest, I did end up slightly rushing this review, so the quality in comparison to my recent reviews will probably be a lot lower. Feedback is what I will need. I am doing my best to improve this blog, so look out for it and continue to send me new ideas and such.

Anyhow, Jieun’s comeback is an exciting one and I am content with it. Although I didn’t link the music video, that was well made in terms of eye-candy; full of sweet scenes and such. As I do for every single review, thank you for reading. It means a lot to me, and I hope that my reviews provide insight, some laughs, and a whole lot of angry people that disagree. Reviews are all opinion, finding your own voice is always important. Thank you once more.

For those curious on my next review, Orange Caramel’s “Catallena” is in mind. It fits the upcoming day of Halloween (check out my review of Boyfriend’s Witch as well), so for the sake of that, I’ll review it as soon as possible. After that, however, I will review a K-Drama song that was requested (sorry for the delay), and I am currently looking over this one song recommendation (got one from an incredibly intelligent friend in class), and hopefully, will review it as well. Lots of things to look forward to.

The end has arrived, so stay tuned for future reviews. I will do my best to maintain a rapid rate. This is also my first song review on a separate document, so let’s see if this works out (Edit: A lot of format issues occurred, especially towards the Meaning section; I will attempt to find solutions). Anyways, keep checking back. Thanks to all my readers, “I’m feeling so amazing”. Expect Orange Caramel’s “Catallena” for next time.